The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling on its sister agencies to implement regulations that would require all vehicles sold in the United States to carry blood alcohol monitoring systems, Engadget reports.
The NTSB sent the recommendation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Tuesday, local time, after completing an investigation into a crash last year involving a drunk driver that killed two adults and seven children.
The technology could have prevented this heartbreaking crash — just as it could have prevented the tens of thousands of deaths we see each year in the United States as a result of car crashes,” said NTSB Chairman Jennifer Homendy. We need to implement the technology we have immediately to save lives.”
Nearly 43,000 people died in car accidents in the United States last year, the highest number in nearly 16 years, according to statistics released by the NHTSA. While the number of traffic fatalities dropped slightly between April and June, the agency’s acting administrator, Ann Carlson, said there is still a “crisis” on the country’s roads.
The NTSB says all new vehicles sold in the U.S. should include an integrated system that can passively detect whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Such a system could be combined with advanced driver monitoring technology to prevent accidents, it noted. In addition, the agency recommends that NHTSA encourage automakers to include technology to prevent speeding-related collisions.
However, the NTSB itself has no authority to regulate or enforce any of its recommended safety measures. Since 2012, it has been calling on NHTSA to explore alcohol monitoring technology.