On Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Anniversary, Luján Calls on NHTSA and Auto Manufacturers to Implement Critical Road Safety Provisions

Washington, D.C. – On the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and auto manufacturers to implement life-saving technologies to prevent drunk and impaired driving in new vehicle models required under Luján’s HALT/RIDE Act. Since passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Senator Luján has continued to push NHTSA to take strong action to make roads safer, including fighting for essential progress on HALT/RIDE Act implementation.

Today, in an op-ed published by the Albuquerque Journal, Senator Luján told his personal experience of surviving a car crash and pushed the Department of Transportation to implement drunk and impaired driving prevention technology in all new passenger vehicles to help make roads safer.

In 2021, Senators Luján and Scott (R-Fla.) secured the inclusion of the HALT/RIDE Act to prevent drunk and impaired driving to help save thousands of lives annually. This legislation promotes the research and development of advanced drunk and impaired driving technology and the requirement of auto manufacturers to implement them in new car models. Since its passage in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Department of Transportation has failed to make progress for auto manufacturers to implement these life-saving technologies in their new vehicle models.

“Two years ago, Congress passed transformative legislation to deliver billions of federal dollars to New Mexico to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century. While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to benefit communities across the country, there is still one area where little to no progress has been made – and that is implementing my HALT/RIDE Act to help save lives,” said Senator Luján. “Passing this legislation was the result of far too many families who have endured the painful loss of a loved one due to drunk and impaired driving. That’s why I’m calling on the Department of Transportation to get off the sidelines and meet the deadline set by Congress to get this technology implemented in all new car models. I refuse to stand by and watch this deadline approach without any action, because more Americans will become the next victims of drunk driving if we refuse to act.”

Background: Last week, Senator Luján joined U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requesting an update on the NHTSA’s implementation of critical safety provisions signed into law under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In June 2022, Senator Luján and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) announced the formation of a technical working group focused on the implementation of impaired driving prevention technology. Earlier this year, the Working Group highlighted new recommendations from auto safety experts and consumer advocates to incorporate comprehensive systems that detect blood alcohol content along with other driver monitoring technologies.


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