[Fox Business] Government agency urges mandate of technology to reduce speeding in new cars

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has urged another government agency to mandate that new cars have intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology in them.

The investigative agency put forward the recommendation on Tuesday and directed it toward the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New cars should at least have mandated passive ISA technology that provides speeding alerts to drivers, according to the NTSB.

ISA systems can determine whether someone was driving their vehicle at an excessive speed by comparing “a car’s GPS location” with a “database of posted speed limits and its onboard cameras,” the agency explained.

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That ISA tech-related recommendation was accompanied by multiple others to the NHTSA.

Some included “updat[ing] the guidelines for state highway safety programs to include identification and tracking of repeat speeding offenders,” “develop[ing] countermeasures to reduce repeat speeding offenses” and “conduct[ing] research and develop[ing] guidelines to assist states in implementing ISA interlock programs for repeat speeding offenders,” per the NTSB’s press release.

The NHTSA “always welcomes the NTSB’s input and carefully reviews it – especially when considering potential regulatory action,” a spokesperson for the agency told FOX Business.

It is currently crafting a final decision notice and weighing feedback it has received from its request for public comment on changes that it suggested for the New Car Assessment Program last year. According to the NHTSA, one of those pertained to the possibility of bringing passive or active ISAs into the program, something the NTSB also called. 

The states and automakers received encouragement from the NTSB to take certain steps as well.

For the former, it said they should “implement programs to identify repeat speeding offenders and measurably reduce speeding recidivism.” For the latter, the recommendation was for them to at least incorporate passive ISA systems into future cars they produce.

The NTSB said its recent probe into a massive crash that involved a speeding Dodge Challenger, a minivan and other vehicles last year had prompted it to put forward Tuesday’s slew of recommendations.

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Nine people died, including the driver of the speeding vehicle that went through a red light. Authorities found that the driver had been under the influence of substances and “had a history of multiple speeding offenses,” the NTSB said.

“This crash is the latest in a long line of tragedies we’ve investigated where speeding and impairment led to catastrophe, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Jennifer Homendy, who chairs the NTSB. “We know the key to saving lives is redundancy, which can protect all of us from human error that occurs on our roads. What we lack is the collective will to act on NTSB safety recommendations.”

The NTSB reported that more than 12,300 people lost their lives in car accidents that involved speeding in 2021. That year had a total of about 42,900 traffic accident-related deaths.

In the first six months of 2023, car wrecks overall caused some 19,500 deaths, according to an estimate from the NHTSA. The agency noted that this year’s second quarter marked the fifth three-month period in a row to post a decline in total deaths from vehicle crashes.

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There were nearly 42,800 traffic fatalities in 2022, according to the NHTSA.

The NTSB group that issued the recommendations to the NHTSA on Tuesday consisted of four members. It typically has five people but is lacking one member at the moment, according to its website.

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