Mandatory Interlock Technologies Progressing Faster Than Anticipated

In today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, reporter Joseph White reports on the progress of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in the development of fully integrated alcohol interlock technology in all automobiles.

After the Party, a Car That Takes Away Your Keys is a well-done, comprehensive look at the opportunites and the potential challenges. The video interview includes what are likely the most commonly asked questions about how these technologies could work and what it could mean for drivers in the U.S.

Do you agree that these systems could be a reality in the next 10 years? White compares the debate about this program to those who challenged mandatory seat belts in all automobiles and the ensuing laws requiring their use. Twenty years from now, will an interlock on every car be as run-of-the-mill as seatbelts are today? Will there be no more use for roadside sobriety checkpoints?

And what should policymakers be doing in the meantime? Every year another 12,000 individuals are killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. Tens of thousands are injured. Whether mandatory interlocks are 10 or 20 years away, it continues to be an epidemic in the interim.

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