BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — With kids being ever-present throughout Boca Raton, we are publishing the following press release from a national organization that is understandably upset that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today delayed requiring backup cameras in US-made cars starting in 2014. No matter where you stand politically, this is difficult not to support. Feel free to weigh in by posting a comment.
Another Department of Transportation rulemaking delay – the third – that would require a rear visibility standard to be set to help prevent child backover deaths is drawing criticism from KidsAndCars.org.
In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had proposed mandating rear view cameras for all vehicles with a generous phase-in period through 2014. A final version of the rule was expected to be issued today.
“This is devastating news,” stated Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit child safety organization working to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles. “This additional long delay is totally unacceptable when it’s already been 4 years since the bill was signed into law. What more do we need to learn? We already know you can’t see behind vehicles and we have affordable and available technology to fix the problem”KidsAndCars.org has already documented 11 backover deaths in just the first seven weeks of this year.
The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act required a rear visibility rule to be set by Feb. 28, 2011, to improve visibility to enable drivers to see pedestrians – especially small children – immediately behind their vehicles. The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) called for rearview cameras to be mandatory on all passenger vehicles by 2014.
In his Feb. 28 letter Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood notified Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), one of the House sponsors of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, that while “significant progress” has been made, “further research and data analysis is important to ensure the most effective and protective rule possible.” He said he anticipated that the department could issue the final standards by Dec. 31, 2012.
Safety groups and parents of children killed and injured in backover incidents call on auto manufacturers to continue adding rear view cameras to their vehicles in the interim. Over 45 percent of 2012 models already come with rearview cameras as standard equipment. Consumers are demanding this safety feature and auto makers are advertising the advantages of these systems. “Every day this rule is delayed puts children at risk. Today just about every cell phone you purchase today comes with a camera. Is it too much to ask to have a camera on our vehicles to save a life?” asks Janette Fennell.
An average of two children a week die and 48 are injured in backover accidents, KidsAndCars.orgreports. A backover incident typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space. Photos of children who’ve died in backovers are shown athttp://www.kidsandcars.org/back-overs.html. Blindzone education kits, including collapsible 28-inch cone and measuring tape, are also available on the website athttp://www.kidsandcars.org/online-store.html.
About KidsAndCars.org: Founded in 1996, KidsAndCars.org is a national nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles.KidAndCars.org promotes awareness among parents, caregivers and the general public about the dangers to children, including backover and frontover incidents, and heatstroke from being inadvertently left in a vehicle. The organization works to prevent tragedies through data collection, education and public awareness, policy change and survivor advocacy.