NYT “Wheels” Blog: Congress Considers Increased Interlock Funding

Christopher Jensen, a contributor to the New York Times “Wheels” blog, reported recently that Congress is considering a six-fold funding increase for a government program that would make non-invasive ignition interlock technology an option in new vehicles. Jensen wrote,

“The device, which would automatically sniff the driver’s breath or use a light beam to test the alcohol content of tissue, would prevent drunken operators from starting the vehicle. There is no plan for the device to be mandatory. Those working on the project hope consumers will accept the alcohol interlock voluntarily because of the safety advantages.”

Currently, the interlock program operates on a $2 million annual budget, but that funding would increase to $12 million annually if the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 passes. The program is a collaborative effort between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and 13 automakers.

Interlocks are a form of targeted technology that can cut down on instances of drunk driving, so we’ll be watching this program closely. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

One Response to “NYT “Wheels” Blog: Congress Considers Increased Interlock Funding”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with education and licensing. Ignition interlocks must not be made mandatory in vehicles owned by the person who owns it. Ignition interlock brakes do prevent drunken driving so it’s always a better use of money to make sure states have enough money to fund their law which require interlock brakes for those convicted of their second or more drunken driving charge or if the person has less than one drunken driving charge. I wouldn’t buy a vehicle which has ignition interlock.