The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that its investigation into a multi-vehicle collision in North Las Vegas, Nevada, last year that resulted in nine fatalities has led the board to recommend a requirement for intelligent speed assistance technology in all new cars.
The board issued the recommendations Tuesday at a public board meeting after determining the crash was caused by excessive speed, drug-impaired driving, and Nevada’s failure to deter the driver’s speeding recidivism due to systemic deficiencies, despite numerous speeding citations.
Benefits of Intelligent Speed Assistance
Intelligent speed assistance technology, or ISA, uses a car’s GPS location compared with a database of posted speed limits and its onboard cameras to help ensure safe and legal speeds.
Passive ISA systems warn a driver when the vehicle exceeds the speed limit through visual, sound, or haptic alerts, and the driver is responsible for slowing the car.
According to the NTSB, active systems include mechanisms that make it more difficult, but not impossible, to increase the speed of a vehicle above the posted speed limit and those that electronically limit the speed of the vehicle to fully prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit.
“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 NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “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 added that eliminating speeding through the implementation of a comprehensive strategy is a priority.
In 2021, speeding-related crashes resulted in 12,330 fatalities—about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States.
In addition to ISA, the NTSB has previously called on regulators to revise regulations around speed limit guidance and increase the use of speed safety cameras.
NTSB has also highlighted the need to improve data, laws, and enforcement to address drug-impaired driving.