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US agency recommends mandatory breathalyzers in all new cars

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  • The recommendation seeks to reduce the number of deaths in alcohol-related crashes, one of the leading causes of car accident deaths in the country.

DETROIT, Michigan — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday that it has recommended making it mandatory for all new vehicles in the country to have alcohol level monitoring systems in blood that may prevent a drunk person from driving them.

The federal agency’s recommendation, if adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seeks to reduce the number of fatalities in alcohol-related crashes, one of the leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities. in the country.

The new effort to make American roads safer was included in a report on a horrific crash last year in which a drunk driver collided head-on with another vehicle near Fresno, California, killing the two adult drivers and seven minors age.

The NHTSA said this week that road deaths in the United States are at a critical level. Nearly 43,000 people died last year, the most in 16 years, as Americans got back on the roads after lockdowns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Preliminary calculations show that death tolls rose again in the first half of this year, although they declined between April and June, in what authorities expect to be a trend.

The NTSB, which has no regulatory authority and can only ask other agencies to implement measures, explained that its recommendation seeks to pressure the NHTSA to take action on the matter. It could enter into force in three more years.

“We need NHTSA to act. We are looking at the numbers,” warned NTSB Director Jennifer Homendy. “We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to save lives,” she added.

The recommendation also calls for installing systems to monitor driver behavior to make sure they are alert. He said many cars already have cameras pointed at the motorist, which has the potential to limit cases of drunk driving.

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