Safety advocates descended on Washington D.C. yesterday to urge the government to act immediately on legislation requiring all new vehicles to come equipped with rearview cameras, the thought being that the increased prevalence of such technology would drastically reduce the number of back-up accidents that occur across the country.
At the moment, automakers may elect to offer the back-up cameras, but they are not compelled to by law. As a result, some safety-conscious parents are forced to buy their own units.
Five years ago, a bill called the Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was signed by the President, prompting a proposal by the Department of Transportation that would have made rearview cameras mandatory in all vehicles. The proposal aimed to cut down on the estimated 17,000 injuries and 228 fatalities that occur every single year because a person did not see someone, usually a child, that was behind them when they were backing up.
Since then, there has been remarkably little movement on the measure while it’s been under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Not content to sit on the sidelines, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety called a news conference to bring awareness to the issue. Standing with them for the event were those who have been impacted by a backing up accident, including a mother who lost her daughter and and a quadriplegic USC student who was struck by a reversing vehicle when he was young.