- Posted January 17, 2013 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
A Half Million Americans Die in U.S.
The late Andy Rooney, coloful television commentator for decades had this to say from his first television broadcast in 1978. "One of the things we can be sure of over the July 4th weekend is that news reports will keep telling us how many of us are going to die in automobile accidents." Little did he know that over one half million people in the U.S. would die between 1982 and 2007 in alcohol related accidents.
Jennifer Gray lost her husband, Brian, and 9-year-old twin daughter, Brittany to a drunk driver in 2004. Her surviving twin daughter, McKayla, now lives with disabilities from the crash, and her youngest daughter, Amber, is still traumatized. “One person’s decision to drink and drive robbed our family of a father and husband, daughter and sister” said Gray. “Please think before you drink, and plan ahead to get a sober ride home. Lives are counting on the choice you make, including your own. Remember that a DUI-related crash is irreversible and 100 percent preventable.”
Unfortunately, we have gone well past relying on a person’s planning ahead before drinking. It is time to stop the madness altogether. It is time for all of us to accept responsibility for protecting what is most valuable…human lives. It is time for all of us to tolerate a little inconvenience to save another ½ million individuals from perishing in alcohol related accidents.
It is time to stop the madness! I am going to suggest that there is a better way, a way that involves every citizen who owns and drives a vehicle. Since anyone who drives can become a victim it is therefore everyones' problem. A slight inconvenience for the sake of saving tens of thousands of lives and avoiding the ruin of tens of thousands of others. Keep in mind how many lives are affected by the loss of just one person or how many are affected by a father who loses his job or is sent to jail. The technology is here now and it works. The installation of ignition interlock devices for vehicles is a game changer. Currently used only as part of the punishment required of offenders, their purpose of preventing a car from starting if the operator registers any breath alcohol content is the solution. Secondly, by design they retest the driver often during the course of his or her travels. Slightly inconvenient, but certainly not significantly this device is the answer to this huge challenge.
THIS IS MY CALL UPON THE NATIONS LAWMAKERS
I am asking that Congress enact legislation that requires vehicle manufacturers to begin installation of ignition interlock devices in all new vehicles produced for sale in the United States. As you know, driving is a privilege and not a right and so just as we say "click it or ticket", all drivers will solve our alcohol related problem. Similar to decades long laws relating to odometer rollbacks, severe penalties could be imposed for tampering with or removal of the device. Secondly, included in the legislation a mandate for all registered used vehicles and used vehicles held by dealers requiring the aftermarket installation of ignition interlock devices. As a requirement of the legislation relating to used vehicles, consumers and dealers should have 120 days in which to comply through installation. A provision allowing for no cost to consumer / dealer installation if completed within 90 days of enactment of legislation. Under the provision, the federal government reimburses installers an amount to be established as fair and reasonable. Should the consumer / dealer fail to seek installation within the prescribed 90 day period, all costs associated with such installation shall be borne by them. If beyond 120 days, fines and penalties should apply.
Readers are encouraged to participate by visiting this link:
The life you save could be your own!