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'Alcolocks' for all new cars: Social Democrats

TT/The Local/vt · 12 Nov 2010, 12:19

Published: 12 Nov 2010 12:19 GMT+01:00

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The proposal, presented in the Riksdag on Friday, also calls for buses and trucks to come with the devices as well. According to the party, one in four traffic fatalities could be prevented with mandatory ignition locks.

The party's traffic committee chairman Anders Ygeman is in favour of the government's proposal on ignition locks as an alternative to revoking driving privileges for drunk driving offenses.

However, the Social Democrats want to go one step further with even more stringent legislation, including seeking an exemption from the EU that would allow Sweden to introduce ignition locks in all new cars.

"Every fourth traffic fatality could be prevented if we introduced mandatory ignition locks. Additionally, it would save society about 6 billion kronor ($877 million)," said Ygeman.

Ygeman quoted figures from data compiled from a Social Democratic report in 2004.

When asked how much it would cost the automobile industry, Ygeman said, "I think there will be rather minimal costs attached. When one begins mass production, it will become relatively inexpensive."

Story continues below…

Stockholm public transport operator SL announced in September that it will install ignition locks on all of its buses within the next two years, ensuring drivers who have been drinking cannot start their vehicles.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:27 November 12, 2010 by Wertyx
Well, that's a difficult one for me to make up my mind about the value of such an idea, even considering their numbers are right.

I don't drink, neither does anyone in my family, at least not enough to go over the legal limit, so there is no reason to have such a lock on my car. No reason at all.

On the other hand, if this can prevent an idiot to ram into me because he drank and drove, I'm all for it.

So here is my proposal to the SD: make anyone who wants to buy alcohol be on a national register and get a license to buy alcohol in Sweden, with a condition to get the license being to have an alcolock on their car!

And since we are at it, same thing for smokers (and "snussers"): their must have a buying license, and the cost of cleaning the street from the cigarette butts littering is only charge to them.
14:01 November 12, 2010 by Rolle
Wow Wertyx, i think you should really consider moving to vitryssland, since you would fit in just perfect with all that 'big brother' bullcrap over there. A national registry for 'alcohol consumers'?! And for snusers?!?! Since we are at that let's also keep a registry of jews, gipsies, lefties, blondes, blacks and handicaped people right? C'mon...

About the ignition lock system: it's a marvelous idea except for one little detail: i promise you it's not gonna be cheap. So what we should be really look at is if it is justified expending or not.
14:04 November 12, 2010 by StockholmSam
Wertyx, not everyone who gets drunk actually buys the alcohol they drink.
14:09 November 12, 2010 by tin tin
I like the idea!

It may be pricey, but then again you cant put a price on a persons life either!
14:28 November 12, 2010 by Noxtion
I say do it, the price of the lives lost in the long run would pale in comparison. Although if they were a drinker then they would probably just buy an older car anyways. But eventually it could really pay off.

And about the above cig/snus thing mentioned, registery is an impossible idea (not to mention way too personal), BUT. One great idea to help with the clean up (I mean seriously, people how hard is it to throw those damn things in an appropriate place?) is raise the prices even more. Yes. Even more, to the point where they can pay to clean up after all of these uncaring people.

Maybe the high prices would do something itself by having less buy them. I just can't believe how nasty the city looks around entrances and bus stops. You should see the entrance to the school I attend, its almost like walking on a carpet of cig-butts, especially after all the snow melts in spring.
14:29 November 12, 2010 by Swedesmith
How about gubbelocks to prevent the elderly from driving? Or tostosteronelocks to prevent the overly aggresive driver?
14:35 November 12, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
The first case of a car stalling at high speed due to an alcolock-malfunction, in Swedens beloved wire-fenced highways, the over-expensive test is over.

Why expensive? Cause you need a government office to inspect those things, and they need calibrating, maitenance, they brake up, and electricity does not like moist and below zero-conditions.

After a certain model has been used for 5 years or so, you can´t find spare parts, so the whole system needs to be replaced by a new model.

If you make the supplier keep spare parts in stock, you will end up with a cartell.

So you might as well pick a certain model right at start. The "government model."

So you end up with a cartell, and shops that give you a betyg in exchange of money, that it works. Also only government approved shops may repair those things, of course.

Similar suggestion was made here in Finland couple of weeks ago. Nice to see how we´re bainwashed into these things. Suggestion was made by our highest police commander.

So that guy not politically connected? it´s sick...
14:37 November 12, 2010 by eppie
I propose a swedolock, preventing people that have been living in Sweden their whole life from driving.

Maybe they should also stop giving swedes their drivers licence as present in a box of cornflakes.

If not I would advice Saab and Volvo to stop putting indicators and mirrors on their cars as cost saving method. People don't use them anyway.
15:27 November 12, 2010 by zircon
L.S. It won't make any difference to me when I want to run you over. In our own 'driveway'. And the house too. Especially your libraries where you keep your Ipod or other communication 'gateways'.
16:16 November 12, 2010 by RobinHood
Once the Social Democrats have sorted out their leadership issues, and got rid of their loonies, maybe we will hear less about this sort of thing.
16:27 November 12, 2010 by millionmileman
First we need to increase Saab and Volvo sales, more important don't you think.

Then what happens to the salesman who rinses out his mouth with mouthwash, after eating surströmming (Swedish herrings) for lunch?
16:34 November 12, 2010 by Jarvilainennen

He digs out the multitool he bought from the internet for 10$, presses a button and starts the car.
16:39 November 12, 2010 by engagebrain
Perhaps a device for detecting that there is at least one hand on the steering wheel - the other will be usually be on the mobile phone.

Or even a mobile phone that cannot be used when it is in motion.
16:54 November 12, 2010 by calebian22
herpes anyone?
17:00 November 12, 2010 by unforgiven
I think it's a good idea. It can save some lives!
17:00 November 12, 2010 by Swedesmith
No, it's my real hair.
17:42 November 12, 2010 by Mb 65
They put indicators on cars and swedes don't use them. They won't ban mobile phone use in cars, and i see more of them on the road than drunken drivers. Anyway someone will find away around them.
18:13 November 12, 2010 by silly t
finally everyone would be using the tram/bus,,,,
18:23 November 12, 2010 by Grass
Good point.

Sweden seems to be so concerned with reducing accidents and vehicle related deaths, but using and HOLDING a mobile phone while driving is acceptable.

My only comment - Check out the research done in other countries about mobile phone usage and GET A HANDLE ON IT.

Using a mobile phone WITHOUT a hands-free kit is probably WORSE than driving drunk.....

And we won't even go into the stupidity of a 0.02 blood/alcohol limit...
18:41 November 12, 2010 by Aussie
@ Grass.

Right on the money, try this one for starters .


Or this one:


How does the risk of using a mobile phone compare with drink driving?

Research has been carried out that compares the risks of using a mobile phone in the car with drink driving (Strayer, Drews & Crouch, 2006). This research shows that it is almost equally hazardous for a driver to use a mobile phone, as it is to drive with a 0.8‰ blood alcohol concentration. Although the risks are similar, the specific effects actually differ: while using the mobile phone, drivers mostly tend to drive more slowly (even if asked to drive at a specific speed); they react more slowly to road signs and they fail to notice a considerably larger number of direction signs. On the other hand, drivers who drink and drive operate at a higher speed and apply a more aggressive driving style with shorter headways.
19:02 November 12, 2010 by zircon
It's time to join the Army.
19:07 November 12, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
I rather they combined this idea with the parking sensor and that the engine cuts out when you tailgate the car in front.
22:12 November 12, 2010 by wakak
And what about the authorized use of cell phone when driving? Sweden is one of the few countries in Europe when it is authorized, for reasons that I fail to understand, considering the proven danger of such habits.

But the politicians of this country are more interested in cutting all ways its inhabitants can enjoy life. After the devilish invention of Systembolaget, the even more invention of alcool test... Or, as suggested by the first comment here, a register of alcohol buyers ( why not even go further with this idea of a register of people who enjoy life...)

Now the only question that remains is whether such puritan idiot ideas are due to Social Democracy or to Swedish mentality. Perhaps to both?
23:51 November 12, 2010 by rashkow
In this world states are not on a same boat, some are dying as result of bullet, hunger and diseases and some are thinking about to prevent or protect themselves even if they are drunken!

What a world!
03:25 November 13, 2010 by reason
It has been shown that driving while talking on the phone using a hands-free device is no safer than using a hand held*. It's the distraction of the phone conversation which impairs driving, not the holding of the device (the exact psychological difference between a direct conversation and talking on the phone is still a mystery to me, but it has been clearly demonstrated). So all those countries banning the hand held while allowing the hands-free are simply ignoring reality and pretending to be safe.

Talking on the phone should be prohibited while driving, any phone regardless of how it's held.

As for the alcolocks, it's just another electronic gadget that'll break and leave you stranded. I'd be all for more frequent breath tests and tougher limits and punishment for drunk driving, but don't tamper with my car.

*for references see for example those in the Wikipedia article 'Mobile phones and driving safety'
05:26 November 13, 2010 by Jarvilainennen

Sure, talking on the phone is prohibited back here, but it´s absolutely impossible to enforce such a law to any great extent.

People played with their hands frees for a while in a large scale but I haven´t seen too many HFs in a long time.

It should be prohibited, though. Those who obviously can not drive and talk on the phone may then be fined. I´m allright, I drive so much I hold a coffee cup & cigarette in my left hand, phone in the right, while eating at the same time, backing up a lorry to a loading dock.. writing the next adress to the navigator.

If I get a fine, so be it. My bad.

I´m with you on that "breaking up and leaving you stranded." Let´s say you buy a SAAB, for example and the alcolock just happens to break down in some St.petersburg highway on saturday night. Good luck, trying to get that particular model for year "2021, updated version" fixed!

So you´d need an override anyway, witch would be illegal and in the jail you´d go, you criminal.
11:36 November 13, 2010 by marianne667
At first fleeting thought it seems like a good idea but then one starts thinking of all the things that would make it impossible and how long it will take to implement. Just as many accidents happen when people are overtired and fall asleep! What about them? I see people driving and talking on their phones every day against the law where I live but a policeman has to see them. Mayhaps one cannot be trusted to drive a vehicle at al.
14:43 November 13, 2010 by Gletta
So systembolaget works so well only one if four fatalities occur through alcohol related accidents and there was me thinking it was an effective method of the state controlling alcohol abuse
17:09 November 13, 2010 by Baldric
No, I think it is an awful idea.

I don't drink, why should I have to prove that I am sober every time I need to drive?

Because somewhere, someone wants to drink and drive? How does it stop him that _I_ have an alcolock in my car?

At most, it stops a drunk from driving MY car, which would not have happened in the first place.

Oh, I get it: years in the future my car may trickle down and accidentally be possessed by an alcoholic, and then he can not drive, much to his complete astonishment!

Meanwhile, I shall blow in a gadget every day so that this can eventually be.
18:16 November 13, 2010 by crunchy2k
Change it to a smartcard system with certain pertinent information. That way when a social democrat starts any car, it will run on one cylinder like the driver.
20:04 November 13, 2010 by Douglas Garner
So, how long do you think it will take to market an artificial blowing device?
03:29 November 14, 2010 by Marc the Texan
And every traffic fatality could be avoided if they banned all cars entirely. Irresponsible drivers usually find a way around these hair-brained schemes dreamed up by the nanny state. Usually something as simple as getting their irresponsible and sober friends to blow in the thing for them. In the meantime, the rest of the nation is burdened by even more expense and regulation. Cars are only a few years away from driving themselves anyway.
03:23 November 15, 2010 by sunnchilde
Wow. So I have a great idea. I could hang out in the parking lot of a big club and hire myself out to blow on people's lockouts! $200 a blow. Cool. I will make SO much money!
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