This year has brought many interesting developments in technology easing its way into lawmakers’ attempts to increase safety on the roads — and the news, unfortunately, forcing their hand.
With the rash of prominent stories regarding drunk driving accidents, wrong way driving accidents, and the like, no matter how much lawmakers try to curb the problem, it never seems to be enough.
That’s why an article in the Chicago Tribune is particularly interesting, as it provides some promising rays of hope regarding repeat offenses and drunk driving. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, using laws in Washington State and a pilot program in California as an example, looked at the rates of repeat drunk driving offenders where alcohol interlock devices (devices that prevent cars from either staring or operating where the operator has a certain blood alcohol level) are mandatory for those convicted of drunk driving related offenses.
In Washington, where such devices are mandatory, an eight year study shows a repeat offender rate drop of 12%. Unfortunately, people intent on making bad decisions often find a way to do so. However, programs such as this provide interesting models that Illinois may consider in curbing its own drunk driving problems.
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