Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States with research showing that around 30 people die every day in an accident where alcohol is involved. In an effort to try to stop this troubling hazard, the United States has issued legislation that will hopefully put an end to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. By 2024, all new cars are going to be required to have some type of alcohol detection system before they are released to the public.
Called “The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019”, also known as the “RIDE Act”, this bill was put together by a combination of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who are anxious to put an end to drunk driving.
While the idea of trying to install alcohol detection devices into every car may seem a bit overwhelming to automobile makers, the Ride Act helps by providing some funding that increases the ability to research and develop these devices.
The program is going to begin with a group of fleet vehicles that are equipped with the software, making it possible to see exactly how they operate before they hit the marketplace and become mandatory for consumers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also jumping on board to help out with the project by partnering with the manufacturers to make sure that the products that are installed are successful. They plan to not only work alongside the manufacturers themselves but also suppliers and those within the field of automotive engineering.
After the pilot program has been in use, the results will be calculated after one year, followed by further evaluations ever six months.
While the law is supposed to go into effect in 2024, testing and the pilot program are supposed to push it a little past its date. The target for all new vehicles to be equipped with the anti-alcohol software is within two years of 2024.
This isn’t the first system of its kind. For years, some cars have been using an ignition interlock device, which acts similar to a Breathalyzer, to keep those who have been convicted with DUI’s from starting their vehicle while they are under the influence. Although these devices have not been perfect, they have gone far toward cutting down the chances of someone driving while they are drunk.
As of now, it is uncertain if the new systems will be similar to an ignition interlock device, or if they will branch off into entirely new territory.
Since detection devices can cost a lot of money to install, it is still uncertain how the new requirements will affect the prices of car manufacturing in the long run. For now, the federal government has set aside around 50 million dollars to help get the project off the ground.
It will be interesting to see how this change will affect not only car manufacturers and the automotive industry, but also the impact that it has in reducing alcohol-related vehicle accident deaths.