Buckling to Auto Industry Pressure, Obama Delays Rule on Rearview Cameras in Cars

Parents of children killed in backover incidents and safety groups called on the Obama Administration to release a rear visibility rule for motor vehicles.

Safety advocates were told that the rule would be issued in 2012, but it wasn’t.

Well into 2013 — and it still hasn’t been issued.

They now believe the President Obama is buckling to auto industry pressure.

In February 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act.

The rear visibility rule is two years overdue and should have been issued by February 2011, said former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Joan Claybrook.

“The auto industry is pressing the White House to hold this life saving standard hostage,” Claybrook told Corporate Crime Reporter.

“Yet it will prevent the most awful deaths and injuries and protect against costly damage to your car.”

“President Obama as Senator cosponsored a bill to require rear visibility protection which passed the House and Senate unanimously in 2008,” Claybrook said. “It’s past time to issue this safety standard.”

Every week in the U.S. about 50 children are backed over by a vehicle — 48 are treated in emergency rooms and at least two children die.

There are approximately 228 fatalities and 17,000 injuries annually in backover incidents.

In over 70 percent of these incidents, the person behind the wheel is a parent or close relative.

“People kept asking me after my daughter was backed over and killed and my husband subsequently committed suicide, why I didn’t have a nervous breakdown,” said

Ellen Adams of Ponte Vedra, Florida. “My response was easy, who would be left for my son? I urge the President to protect other families from these preventable tragedies.”

Existing and inexpensive technology can prevent drivers from everyday back-up crashes that cause costly damage, but most importantly, can save the life of a child.

“Rearview cameras are available and affordable. Many auto manufacturers are making them standard equipment on new makes and models,” Claybrook said.

“Rearview cameras as standard equipment will save lives and save consumers hundreds of dollars in potential repair costs when they can actually see when backing up. Every day of delay costs consumers and puts children at risk.”

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