MADD Commends Senate for Actions to Further Development of In-Vehicle Alcohol Detection Technology
Anna Duerr, MADD
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) today commended the Senate Appropriations Committee for adding $8.5 million to the fiscal year 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) budget to help fund research to eliminate drink driving as the leading cause of highway fatalities.
The funding legislation, approved on April 19th by the Senate committee, includes an additional $7 million — which is $6 million more than the budget request and the current funding level — for the national research effort to develop a unobtrusive and publicly acceptable technology to prevent drunk drivers from operating a vehicle. The research program, known as DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety), is a cooperative activity involving NHTSA and leading auto makers.
As stated in the Senate Appropriations Committee's report on the legislation, the goal of the DADSS research program is "to make technologies available for voluntary installation in production vehicles within the next decade."
The Committee-approved legislation also adds $2.5 million to the NHTSA budget for activities such as providing technical assistance to states with enhanced ignition interlock programs, and encouraging further adoption of comprehensive statewide impaired driving prevention programs.
"During her time as Chair of the subcommittee responsible for NHTSA's budget, Senator Patty Murray has consistently led the way in advancing effective programs to reduce highway deaths and injuries," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "On behalf of MADD supporters across the country, we thank Senator Murray and Subcommittee Ranking Member Senator Susan Collins for the lifesaving research they are promoting in this measure."
The funding legislation, along with a NHTSA authorization package recently passed by the full Senate, further advances the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, MADD's blueprint for national action. The Campaign's three steps are research-based short- and long-term solutions for drunk driving, including continued high visibility law enforcement campaigns, further adoption of state ignition interlock laws for all offenders, and the DADSS technology research program.
"We encourage the House to take similar actions to help save the lives of thousands each year," MADD President Withers added.
For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit www.madd.org/campaign.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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