Lawmakers, Safety Groups and Victim Advocates Urge the Obama Administration to Establish Long Delayed Rear Visibility Rule.

A recent press event on Capitol Hill sought to bring attention to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s long delay in issuing a rear visibility rule.

On April 11, safety groups and parents of children killed in backover accidents joined United States Representatives Jan Schankowsky, D-Ill. And Pete King, R-N.Y. on Capitol Hill for a press event aimed at putting pressure on President Barack Obama’s administration to release a rear visibility rule for motor vehicles.  The rule would require backup cameras to eliminate blind zones behind vehicles.

In 2007, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act.  The Act was signed into law by then President George W. Bush in 2008.  According to the Act, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is charged with establishing a rear visibility rule.  However, as of December 31, 2012, the Administration has missed four deadlines for establishing a rear visibility rule.  The initial deadline set by Congress for NHSTA to establish a rear visibility rule was February 2011.  In a statement issued by NHTSA, a spokesperson for the Administration stated that a final rule would be issued after completion of the regulatory review process.

A startling number of children are killed or injured as a result of backover accidents every year.

Every year, many parents suffer the ordeal of having their children killed or seriously injured as a result of backover accidents.  A backover accident is one where a driver backs over a child they did not see, usually when coming out of a driveway or parking space.  The number of children involved in backover accidents in the United States every year is quite startling.  Approximately 50 children are backed over by a vehicle each week.  Of these children, 48 sustain injuries serious enough to require an emergency room visit and at least two sustain injuries which prove to be fatal.  This amounts to nearly 228 fatalities and 17,000 injuries from backover accidents every year.

Backup cameras are a cost effective way to reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from backover accidents.

NHTSA projects that installing backup cameras, which include rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays, on all vehicles would reduce the annual number of backover accident related fatalities by a range of 95 to 112 and reduce the annual number of backover accident related injuries by a range of 7,074 to 8,374.  Moreover, the NHTSA estimates that the costs of meeting these proposed standards would cost between $159 and $203 for vehicles without the display screen and cost between $58 and $88 for vehicles with the display screen.  These costs would decrease over time.

If your child has been injured or killed in a backover accident, contact an attorney immediately.  An attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.


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