On November 20, the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy hosted the annual Daniel J. Raskin Memorial Lecture, endowed by his mother, Vivian Raskin, to honor his life’s work. The goal of the lectureship is to educate public health professionals and the broader community about current research, policy, and programs to prevent injuries and reduce their impacts.
This year’s symposium featured Stacey D. Stewart, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Speaking from her more than 25 years of experience serving in purpose-driven roles across various non-profit organizations, Ms. Stewart shared insights about Leading Organizations for Social Change to faculty, staff, students, and friends of the Center in attendance at the hybrid event.
Ms. Stewart highlighted the importance of Research, Victim Advocacy and Equity, and using data to drive (no pun intended) the organization’s mission of being a voice to victims and survivors while working to end impaired driving. MADD and the Injury Center are working together along with experts in law, engineering, and bioethics to generate solutions to the preventable public health issue of impaired driving.
Currently, Center faculty and MADD are part of a Technical Working Group to advance rulemaking on impaired driving detection technology. Such technology will be included in all new cars and prevent a vehicle from being driven by an impaired driver. The technology is passive and requires no action from drivers to work. This approach is preventative, not punitive, and completely different than current ignition interlocking technology, which is used as part of a post-arrest response to driving under the influence of alcohol. We are excited about this partnership and the potential of this strategy to significantly reduce – and even eliminate impaired driving and the associated public health harms.