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Feds call for alcohol detection systems in all new vehicles


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued a recommendation to require that all new vehicles be equipped with technology that would prevent a person impaired by alcohol from driving.

In a September 20 report, the NTSB recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration take action to require all new vehicles to be equipped with passive vehicle-integrated alcohol impairment detection systems, advanced driver monitoring systems or a combination of the two that would be capable of preventing or limiting vehicle operation if it detects driver impairment by alcohol.

The NTSB recommendation comes as a result of the agency’s investigation into a crash that occurred on January 1, 2021, near Avenal, California. Nine people, including seven children, died in a high-speed head-on collision involving an SUV and a pickup truck. NTSB investigators reported that the SUV driver had a high level of alcohol intoxication and was operating at an excessive speed.

The NTSB also called for new incentives for vehicle manufacturers and consumers to encourage the adoption of technology to prevent speed-related crashes.

​“Technology could’ve prevented this heartbreaking crash — just as it can prevent the tens of thousands of fatalities from impaired-driving and speeding-related crashes we see in the U.S. annually,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “We need to implement the technologies we have right here, right now to save lives.”​


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