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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Roads Safe Act Needs Your Support

Drunk driving is a terrible reality that exists in today's roads --- even with legislation, year after year, it seems that this continues to haunt motorist, any time of the year. That may change --- if the human element can't be corrected, some people are hoping that the cars of tomorrow become the cure themselves. There is currently legislation pending in Congress, one which aims to support research for the anti-drunk-driving technology for tomorrow's cars to be a reality.

The Roads Safe act, sponsored in the Senate by Senators Tom Udall and Bob Corker and in the House of Representatives by Shelley Moore-Capito, Heath Shuler and John Sarbanes. The legislation would help fund research on advanced alcohol detection technology that would make drunk driving impossible, or even obsolete.

At present, we currently have personal breathalyzers, ignition interlock devices and distracted driving prevention apps for smartphones. These are all well and good, but they are harder to implement on a wide scale, impossible to police (without being intrusive or violating the privacy of motorists) and sometimes, just plain expensive. Add to that, that these aren't all built-in with cars being sold today. These are aftermarket parts that have to be purchased and maintained separately, making most motorists clueless about them.

Though every motorist and pedestrian probably want even more safety for all, having to stick your mouth on a breathalyzer or ignition interlock device every single time you have to start your car is probably not the way to go.

If the legislation passes, $12 million a year over five years will be provided to fund research on new, emerging technologies for detecting impairment on behalf of the driver, without being invasive. The dadss (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) will be doing the research on technologies that may be able to detect alcohol from air samples in the vehicle passenger compartment, detect alcohol through the driver's skin using tissue spectroscopy, from emissions from the skin, from eye movements, and from driving performance.

The ultimate goal is to develop something that will be easy to deploy, non-invasive and effective. Once these advancements become ubiquitous with driving, drivers won't have a choice when it comes to distracted driving --- it simply won't be possible by then.

M.A.D.D. is urging everyone to support this legislation --- they urge everyone to show their email support ( for these technologies to become a reality, and hopefully eliminate drunk driving.

For more information on DADSS, visit their site. ( )

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