Senator Tom Udall's proposal for road safety - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Senator Tom Udall's proposal for road safety

Ben Briscoe
NewsChannel 10

Clovis, NM - A controversial new plan by an area U.S. Senator to save lives just cleared a major hurdle.  

Senator Tom Udall wants to stop drunk driving by changing how you start your car everyday.

 Records show drunk driving kills over 10,000 people every year, people like 21-year-old Ashely Richards, from Portales back in October.

"My baby was taken because of this. When is it going to stop? when is it going to stop?"

To reduce the problem, Udall's bill gives about $12 million a year to fund research.

That work will figure out how to put in cars breathalyzers that would keep ignitions from starting when a driver is over the legal limit.

As technology develops, Udall ultimately would like to see the government require this device in every vehicle sold in the U.S.

Experts estimate the senator's plan would save about 8,000 lives a year. That's 200 more people than it takes to fill up Amarillo's Dilla Villa.

But not everyone likes the idea including even some drunk driving victims.

Larry Williams is a bartender at Webb's in Clovis. He's been hit twice by a drunk driver, one time almost dying.

But for now, Udall says the bill is just funding research.

And anything that could potential save lives is worth at least looking into.

Now even if Udall's bill passes, it would still take more legislation to mandate every car has a breathalyzer- meaning you probably won't see any changes personally for at least another five to 10 years.

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