Legislation provides almost $50 million for Campaign Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, legislation passed by Congress to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2013 represents a major milestone in MADD's efforts to eliminate drunk driving. This legislation, expected to be signed into law by President Obama, fully funds MADD's three-point program for eliminating drunk driving deaths and fatalities known as the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®. MADD is proud to have worked together with its leading traffic safety partners in encouraging Congress to fully fund the National Priority Safety Programs, known as Section 405.
"Fully funding Section 405 and other authorized sections fulfills MAP-21's promise to the highway safety community," explained MADD National President Jan Withers. "Specifically, this funding provides vital resources that put the nation on the road towards eliminating drunk driving in our lifetimes."
Under the National Priority Safety Programs, performance-based incentives are available to states for programs to address key areas of highway safety that include distracted driving, occupant protection, motorcycle safety, traffic records and improving graduated driver licensing laws, and of paramount interest to MADD, impaired driving.
Specific to MADD's Campaign, the spending bill provides $29 million for three annual high visibility enforcement "crackdowns." Two of which are the twice yearly Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign which are key to supporting law enforcement efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. In addition, Section 405 provides $20 million in incentive grants for states that pass an all-offender ignition interlock law. And, over $5 million is provided to continue the research and development of advanced technology that will one day prevent a drunk driver from operating the vehicle. Each of these specific items represents the three elements of MADD's Campaign.
The advanced technology project is known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS, and is part of a cooperative agreement between NHTSA and the world's leading automotive companies. The initial agreement established a five-year, $10 million project. MAP-21 extended the project for two more years and provided another $10 million to continue this research. The FY 2013 federal spending bill will provide an additional $5 million for this project as authorized in MAP-21.
"The ignition interlock incentive grant program will encourage states to enact or strengthen ignition interlock laws across the country. The science behind interlocks is clear. Every state should take advantage of the new incentive grant and pass an all offender interlock law," continued Withers.
"Funding for the DADSS program is historic. The success of the DADSS research will enable drunk driving to be eliminated once and for all," commented Withers.
A diverse group of highway safety advocates and others have now endorsed the Campaign. Last year, AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board joined NHTSA in endorsing all the major components of the Campaign. Just this week, the National Football League announced its full support to eliminate drunk driving. And now, Congress and the administration have endorsed and funded programs that could lead to the elimination of drunk driving.
"MADD would like to thank Chairman Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins and Chairman Tom Latham and Ranking Member Ed Pastor as well as Senate and House Full Committee Chairmen Barbara Mikulski and Hal Rogers and Ranking Members Richard Shelby and Nita Lowey. Their leadership in passing the FY 2013 spending bill is to be commended," added Withers.
"MADD also must thank our champions in Congress including Chairmen John Rockefeller and Barbara Boxer as well as Senators Tom Udall, Frank Lautenberg, and Bob Corker. In the House, I would like to thank Representatives Shelley Moore-Capito, John Sarbanes and Frank Wolf," said Withers. "Fully authorizing and now funding the components of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has been a long process but one that will lead to a nation without drunk driving."
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving