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Sarbanes Honored During MADD 30th Anniversary Rally on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman John Sarbanes was presented with a Congressional Excellence Award by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his outstanding contributions toward the organization’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Congressman Sarbanes authored an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to fund the research and development of vehicle technologies to end drunk driving—the top legislative priority for MADD.
“Drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in 2009 and alcohol related crashes cost the public an estimated $114 billion each year,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “Developing technologies to prevent these unnecessary tragedies is a tremendous investment in the safety of our nation’s roads and highways.”
According to NHTSA in Maryland, vehicle-related fatalities declined in 2009, but alcohol-related fatalities increased by 12 percent. Developing technologies to prevent these unnecessary tragedies is a tremendous investment in the safety of our nation’s roads and highways.
Despite successful education and enforcement initiatives, a drunk driver has only a two percent chance of being caught. Drunk driving still accounts for one third of all traffic fatalities. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has studied the concept of advanced alcohol detection technology and believes it would save thousands of lives every year.
The ROADS SAFE amendment would authorize $8 million in annual funding for five years for the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program. It is based on a bipartisan bill (H.R. 4890) introduced by Congressman Sarbanes and Congressman Vernon Ehlers of Michigan. DADSS is a public-private partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) that will explore the feasibility, potential benefits and challenges with using advanced in-vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving. The project currently receives $1 million per year from the federal government.
MADD rallied supporters on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to kick-off their 30th Anniversary Celebration and push for final passage of this legislation.
Support for Bill
The bipartisan ROADS SAFE Amendment is supported by a wide range of organizations representing automakers and advocates for the prevention of drunk driving, including:
▪ Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
▪ Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
▪ The Century Council
▪ Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS)
▪ Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
▪ General Motors
▪ Nationwide Insurance
▪ Safe Kids International
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