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Rearview Cameras Finally Become Standard On All New Vehicles

Last updated on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

(KANSAS CITY) - After more than 15 years of extraordinary efforts by KidsAndCars.org and other advocacy groups, a long-overdue auto safety standard will be in full effect on May 1, 2018.

This standard helps to improve passenger vehicles' rear visibility and prevent deaths from drivers backing into children and adults they cannot see. For over 100 years, vehicles were manufactured without any regulation on what the driver should be able to see behind them when backing.

"This measure will save countless lives, especially of children," stated Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, whose organization led the effort. "It is the first federal regulation for rear visibility in our nation's history. It doesn't matter where on earth a vehicle is manufactured, all passenger vehicles sold or leased in the U.S. will now be equipped with a rearview camera as standard equipment," she explained.

In 2008 Congress enacted the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The law was named after Cameron Gulbransen who died in 2002 at age 2 after his father, a pediatrician, accidentally backed over him in the driveway because he was unable to see the toddler in the blindzone behind his vehicle.

Each year an average of 226 individuals are killed and over 12,000 injured in backover crashes, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Drivers using all three mirrors still cannot see anything in a blindzone 10-50 feet long directly behind their vehicles. Over half of those killed in backover accidents are children under 5 or adults 70 or older, NHTSA's analysis shows.

KidsAndCars.org is celebrating this achievement by giving away three rearview camera systems this week. Those who "like" the organization's Facebook page at (https://www.facebook.com/KidsAndCars.org/) will automatically be entered to win.

Bill Nelson, another parent who lost his son, said, "Our family is thrilled that the rule has finally been issued - not just for those of us who worked so hard in memory of our children, but also for families whose children's lives will be saved by this safety standard." The Nelson family lost their son Alec after he was backed over because his grandfather could not see him in the large blindzone behind his SUV.

Dr. Greg Gulbransen added, "It's been a long fight, but we're thrilled this day has finally come. It's a bittersweet day, because this rule should have been in place many years ago. Though his own life was short, my son Cameron inspired a regulation that will save the lives of countless others."

For more information on the dangers of vehicle blindzones please visit https://www.kidsandcars.org/how-kids-get-hurt/backovers/.

For more information on the rear visibility standard, please visit https://www.kidsandcars.org/resources/release-the-rear-visibility-standard/

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