March 8th, 2012 - by DKRPA
Like most states in the U.S., Florida has seen its fair share of car accidents. Some are minor collisions; others are major accidents like last month’s fatal Interstate 75 pile-up. There is a surging trend in a different kind of car accident: “backover” collisions that threaten the lives of pedestrians, especially young children.
Car safety has been emphasized in recent years, as side air-bags and improved computer systems that alert drivers when they are drifting in their lane becoming a part of many car models. One current luxury element, though, could become a basic requirement for all passenger vehicles starting in 2014 – rearview cameras.
Congress is set to approve a new bill making these cameras a basic and mandatory feature. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pushed for the bill with the support of evidence supplied by federal regulators and non-profit groups tracking the number of child deaths caused by vehicles backing into or out of a parking space.
According to federal statistics, 228 people die annually because a passenger vehicle backed over a pedestrian. About 44% of these deaths involve children under the age of five. In addition to these fatalities, roughly 17,000 people suffer serious injuries each year due to a backover accident. Lawmakers believe installing rearview cameras can cut these pedestrian accidents in half.
Nearly 450 children were killed in backover accidents from 2006 to 2010, more than five times the amount of child fatalities that occurred a decade earlier. The bill would be one of the most significant advances in pedestrian safety in recent memory.
Source: New York Times, “U.S. Rule Set for Cameras at Car’s Rear,” Nick Bunkley, Feb. 27, 2012