ABC affiliate WCBO Channel 9 reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is promoting new technology that may help prevent people who are intoxicated from alcohol or drugs from getting behind the wheel. The new technology includes a sensor that can detect and identify the blood alcohol level of drivers before they even start their vehicles.
The federal agency said that the technology could help lower the number of traffic fatalities where alcohol or distracted driving has played a role. The NTSB wants automakers to include devices that can detect whether drivers are impaired.
The devices could sense alcohol on a driver’s breath or detect the blood alcohol level of drivers through their skin when they take the wheel. The NTSB also wants auto manufacturers to develop the ability of vehicles to stop on their own if the driver is not paying attention to the road.
A spokesperson for the Center for Auto Safety told reporters, “If we could detect everyone who is speeding and stop them and everyone who is drinking and stop them, everyone who is distracted and stop them, or having a medical emergency that might threaten people, we would have eliminated more deaths than I think we ever have in the field of traffic safety,” he said.
Of course, it will take time for local, state, and federal lawmakers to write the laws to make the devices standard on new vehicles. Industry experts estimate that it will be at least five years before such technology is used in new cars and trucks.