MADD Responds to Increase in Traffic Fatalities in 2012

Traffic deaths rose 9% in the first half of 2012, an increase that broke a 5-year downward trend of automobile fatalities in the United States. The preliminary data cannot yet be explained by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who said the report had not examined the causes.

MADD responded to the report by reiterating their belief that all convicted drunk drivers should use an ignition interlock device, MADD National President Jan Withers said, “MADD has a plan to eliminate drunk driving once and for all and states must do their part by passing all-offender ignition interlock laws.”

Withers pointed to the data that ignition interlocks work to prevent drunk driving, she said, “There is no longer a debate on interlock effectiveness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 15 other peer-reviewed studies, have confirmed that interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving by two-thirds.”

Congress funded a $20 million ignition interlock incentive grant program last July as part of MAP-21. States can receive special funding for interlock programs if they have legislation that requires all convicted drunk drivers to get an interlock device.

Because offenders and not the states pay for the interlock program, Withers says “there are no more excuses for states” to not implement this legislation.