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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Image Is Needed to Avoid|Backovers, Says Agency

WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to require that most new vehicles provide the driver with an image of the area behind the vehicle, to keep pedestrians from being hit as it backs up.

The agency's proposed requirements would be phased-in over four years.

Children under five represent approximately 44 percent of backup fatalities, and often the drivers are parents or caregivers backing out of a driveway, according to the agency's data. Issues involved in the child fatalities include that they may not be seen because they are short, and that they tend not to perceive danger or respond to it. The elderly also are vulnerable to backup accidents, according to the data.

The agency's proposed requirements would apply to passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, school buses, motorcycles and low-speed vehicles. Certain vehicles, such as short school buses, may be exempted because backover accidents involving them are rare.

The image would have to show where an object or pedestrian is, but would not have to be a video camera image.

The agency's rule would implement a provision of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which was named for a two-year-old boy killed when his father backed up the family vehicle in the driveway.

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