Insisting it will save thousands of lives, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., this week on a proposal to develop software to detect alcohol and add it to new cars.
Udall introduced the “Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act” on Wednesday with Scott as the main cosponsor.
“The fact is that deaths from drunk driving are completely preventable – so we have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent such senseless tragedies. I’ve been in this fight for a long time, and we’ve made real progress. But we are still losing thousands of lives each year to drunk driving crashes. Every drunk driving death is one too many – and one too many family who is forced to confront unimaginable pain. With this legislation, we have the opportunity to help end drunk driving for good by putting alcohol detection technology in all new motor vehicles. We owe it to those we’ve lost—to honor them with action,” said Udall.
“It is heartbreaking that we have lost so many to the irresponsible actions of drunk drivers. Now is the time to act so we never have to experience another tragedy,” Scott said. “I’m proud to join Senator Udall to introduce the RIDE Act, which promotes the development of critical alcohol detection technology that could save 7,000 lives every year. One life lost is too many, and this technology will go a long way in protecting our families and communities.”
According to Scott’s office, the bill would fund federal research of technology “that detects whether a driver is impaired over the legal limit and, if so, prevents that driver from starting the car.” The proposal would also create a pilot program to test the technology, including using federal General Services Administration cars and some state and local government vehicles. The bill would mandate the use of the software in all new vehicles.
Udall’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Wednesday. Dingell has introduced the companion bill over in the U.S. House.
The bill has the support Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Safety Council.