Politicians have a habit of sneaking small pieces of legislation into bigger bills. The flagship measures of the bill garner all the attention, and most people do not realize what else it includes until after it has passed.
The infrastructure bill that is currently progressing is no different. You might not know it includes measures to combat drunk driving. One proposal is that all new cars have a way of testing whether drivers have consumed alcohol.
Currently, courts can order people convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. It prevents the car from starting if they blow positive. The new bill refers to passive technology, which suggests you would not have to blow into anything, yet the vehicle would still refuse to start if you are over the blood alcohol limit.
What other vehicle safety measures does the infrastructure bill propose?
The bill proposes new cars come with a system to warn parents when they have left their kids in the car. Several children die each year when parents leave them in the car in hot weather.
Automatic braking assistance is another featured element of the bill. As a driver, you will still do the braking yourself, but if for any reason you have not done so in time or have not applied enough pressure, the car will take over if it senses an imminent collision.
Opponents to these safety measures may complain they will increase the cost of new cars or restrict people’s freedom. Yet, vehicle crashes cost billions each year, and if the changes help keep you free from injury on the roads, you might argue it is a price worth paying.