DOT Delays Rulemaking on Rear Visibility StandardsApr 19th, 2012 | By agrss | Category: Safety News
The Department of Transportation recently issued a third delay to requiring a rear visibility standard to be set to help prevent childbackover deaths, according to a recent statement from KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles.
In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had proposed mandating rearview cameras for all vehicles with a generous phase-in period through 2014. A final version of the rule was expected to be issued in late February, according to the group.
“This is devastating news,” says Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org. “This additional long delay is totally unacceptable when it’s already been four 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.”
The group says in just the first seven weeks of the year, it documented 11 backover deaths.
The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act had required a rear visibility rule to be set by February 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, according to KidsandCars.org. In his February 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 December 31, 2012.
“Every day this rule is delayed puts children at risk,” adds Fennell. “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?”