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Earlier this month the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced its top ten Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements for 2016. Once again, the NTSB included substance-impaired driving (drunk and drugged driving) in its priorities. Despite our nation’s concerted efforts to curb drunk driving, data indicate that one-third of highway deaths involve an alcohol-impaired driver—a proportion that has remained largely unchanged for at least 15 years.

This year the agency highlighted the important role technology can play in reducing transportation deaths, including impaired-driving fatalities. The NTSB specifically noted the need for countermeasures that target repeat DWI offenders, such as ignition interlocks and specialty court programs that use a combination of treatment and supervision, including alcohol monitoring technology.

Also included in the NTSB’s recommendations is a renewed call for states to reduce the legal BAC for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash more than doubles by the time someone reaches the current drunk-driving limit, and lowering the standard would bring the U.S. in line with much of the rest of the world. However, the recommendation didn’t gain much tangible support when the agency first suggested it in 2013, and it remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of it this time around.

The NTSB’s full Most Wanted list covers all modes of transportation and includes the following:

  • End substance impairment in transportation
  • Reduce fatigue-related accidents
  • Promote availability of collision avoidance technologies in highway vehicles
  • Disconnect from deadly distractions
  • Promote completion of rail safety initiatives
  • Require medical fitness for duty
  • Improve rail transit safety oversight
  • Strengthen occupant protection
  • Prevent loss of control in flight in general aviation
  • Enhance use of recorders to enhance transportation safety

Click here to see the NTSB’s full recommendations on these items.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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