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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall, D–N.M., and Bob Corker, R–T.N., today introduced legislation designed to reduce the number of drunk driving crashes and fatalities on America’s roads by funding the development of new technologies to prevent drivers from operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
The Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-related Fatalities Everywhere, or ROADS SAFE, Act would authorize $12 million in annual funding for five years for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program to explore the feasibility, potential benefits and public policy challenges associated with using in-vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving.
In 2008 alone, drunk driving killed 11,773 people nationwide, including 143 in New Mexico and 327 in Tennessee. It is estimated that 8,000 lives could be saved each year if all vehicles were equipped with advanced alcohol detection technology.
“While New Mexico has been a leader in reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road, drunk driving continues to be a primary cause of fatal crashes in New Mexico and nationwide – and even one death caused by a drunk driver is unacceptable,” Udall said.
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