MADD Names Rep. Jan Schakowsky 'Legislator of the Year'
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has named U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois a 2019 Legislative Leader for her work to end drunk driving, MADD National President Helen Witty announced.
Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter Helen Marie was killed by an alcohol- and marijuana- impaired driver in 2000, praised Schakowsky for her commitment to motor vehicle safety and for helping to promote advanced technologies to prevent a drunk driver from operating a vehicle.
In March, Schakowsky chaired a hearing of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee that focused on these safety technologies. One subject of the hearing was a government-auto industry research program supported primarily by government funds for more than a decade.
At that hearing, Witty challenged the auto industry to move drunk driving prevention technology development out of the research labs and make it available to consumers as soon as possible. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that implementation of such technology could save as many as 7,000 lives every year.
"I am very honored by this recognition from Mothers Against Drunk Driving," Schakowsky said. "As a lifelong consumer advocate, a mother and a grandmother, I believe any technology that can save a life should be in use to prevent drunk and impaired drivers from hitting the road. I look forward to working with MADD in making our roads safer and preventing needless tragedies."
Witty said MADD plans to continue working with Schakowsky on safety issues, including support for current legislative proposals to require rulemaking for installation of drunk driving prevention systems in all vehicles within the next few years.
"Technology has the potential to end drunk driving in America," Witty said. "Together, we can reach a day when there are No More Victims of this devastating, 100 percent preventable crime that kills more people on our roads than anything else."
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.