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NTSB Requests Alcohol Monitoring Systems in New Vehicles

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Sept. 22, 2022—A recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board requests that all new vehicles in the United States have blood alcohol monitoring systems in them, according to AP News

The NTSB cannot enact this recommendation, as it does not have regulatory authority. However, the hope is to get traction and action from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for implementation. 

According to AP News, a report from the NHTSA this week detailed that around 43,000 people were killed in roadway-related incidences last year. This is the highest number in 16 years. 

NTSB Chairman Jennifer Homendy said that even though it will take time for the NHTSA to research and test the systems, it would be worth it to save lives. The recommendation also wants to see systems implemented that monitor the behavior of a driver to ensure that they are alert while driving. 

There are multiple companies working on effective technology for this endeavor, but it could take years to implement it in vehicles even after it is fully developed. Congress required the NHTSA to make automakers install alcohol monitoring systems within three years under last year's bipartisan infrastructure law, but the NHTSA could ask for an extension. The legislation does not explicitly say what the technology should be, but it needs to "passively monitor" a driver to determine the level of impairment, according to AP News. 

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