We are excited to announce that Congress has approved the federal transportation legislation called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21. This legislation sets in motion a federal safety policy that could lead to the elimination of drunk driving as the leading cause of highway fatalities.
The legislation includes bold new programs to encourages states to pass all offender ignition interlock laws. The science behind these laws has been clear for some time, showing that they reduce repeat offenses by two-thirds. Now, states will have a financial incentive, as well as a moral obligation to pass these lifesaving laws. Currently, 16 states have ignition interlock laws aimed at all convicted drunk drivers.
In addition to ignition interlocks, the legislation authorizes the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS. Not only does it guarantee the research for this project will continue to take place, it also has the potential to greatly accelerate lifesaving technology from the lab to the showroom where it can protect our families. Learn more about DADSS.
Also in line with MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, the legislation continues funding for NHTSA's high visibility traffic safety law enforcement campaigns, which have proved to be successful. This is especially important over holiday weekends like the Fourth of July when drunk driving rates are higher.
MAP-21 is a historic opportunity to advance highway safety because we now have congressional approval on a blueprint for our nation to eliminate drunk driving. MADD thanks Senators Jay Rockefeller, Barbara Boxer, Tom Udall, Frank Lautenberg, and Bob Corker along with Representatives John Mica, Shelley Moore Capito, John Sarbanes, and Heath Shuler for championing this legislation.
At 4:55 EST on July 6, 2012, President Obama will sign the Moving Ahead for the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) at a White House ceremony.