Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) president Jan Withers wants a summit dedicated to how better to save lives, one that goes beyond stopping drunk drivers.
“MADD is prepared to call a summit meeting of leading traffic safety organizations and companies committed to keeping our roads safe,” she said. “This summit would focus on a practical and realistic national traffic safety action plan that has all of us moving in the same direction, assuring that we save the most lives in the shortest time period.”
At the 30th Anniversary Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, MADD, the organization famously devoted to ending drunk driving, issued a challenge to current traffic safety legislation that will go towards ending the 33,000 fatalities on American roads per year. Withers and MADD want to examine every aspect of traffic safety.
“We need to commit ourselves to working together to support the strongest laws on all issues—drunk driving, distraction, belt use, child seats, teens—the best enforcement of those laws, and broad awareness by the driving public that unsafe behavior will not be tolerated,” said Withers.
In her speech, Withers cited the success of past efforts from organizations that brought meaningful safety legislation together: the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign that made both mandatory, and campaigns like Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Most recently, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has made every state require some sort of alcohol interlock for repeat offenders, which it cites as a resounding success.
With this summit, MADD is hoping to advocate its stance on using technology to deter drunk drivers. With Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety, a car won’t be able to start if it detects a drunkard in the driver’s seat–and it’s this technology that MADD hopes to make mandatory, through Congressional approval, as one of its goals. The topic will surely arise during MADD’s traffic safety summit.
Withers ended her speech with some strong words, as strongly as it started with her description of losing her daughter to a drunk driver:
“We are going to need everyone–government, traffic safety groups, law enforcement, companies, and the public–working together on proven solutions if we are going to get to that wonderful day when there are no more deaths, no more injuries, no more crashes.”