Parents of kids killed in backover accidents rally in Washington, D.C.

Online Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Parents of children killed in backover incidents and safety groups joined U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Peter King, R-N.Y., at a Capitol Hill press event April 11 to urge the Barack Obama administration to release a rear visibility rule for motor vehicles.

With strong bipartisan support, Congress required this safety rule in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in February 2008. The rule is two years overdue, and should have been issued by February 2011.

Janette Fennell, president of, said: “It is clear from so many other actions that President Obama has the safety of our children as a top priority. We urge the president to take one simple step today and issue the rear visibility rule. These unacceptable and unnecessary deaths and injuries from backover incidents must stop.”

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. Approximately 228 fatalities and 17,000 injuries annually result from backover incidents. In more than 70 percent of these incidents, the person behind the wheel is a parent or close relative.

Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said: “This law had the support of the auto industry, the safety community and families. We have inexpensive and effective technological solutions, consumer support, and now we need government action. President Obama was a co-sponsor of the legislation while serving in the Senate, and now as our leader he needs to issue the required rule.”

Ellen Adams of Ponte Vedra, Fla., shared: “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. 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.

Joan Claybrook, president emeritus, Public Citizen, and former administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stated: “Rearview cameras are available and affordable. Many auto manufacturers are making them standard equipment on new makes and models. 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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Posted April 11, 2013

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