By Chris May
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 3 On Your Side wants you to know about a new requirement to make rear-view cameras standard equipment in vehicles. It’s designed to prevent so-called backover accidents.
Each week in the United States, two children die and 50 are injured when someone accidentally backs over them in a vehicle.
The numbers come from a national safety advocacy group, and sadly, the driver is often a family member.
In an effort to convince Congress to help reduce back-over accidents, the safety group Kids And Cars created a PSA showing 62 children standing behind a sport utility vehicle. Not one child was visible to the driver in any of the vehicle’s mirrors.
“No one would buy a vehicle if you couldn’t see 20 or 30 feet going forward, so why are we being forced to buy vehicles where you can’t see 20 or 30 feet going in reverse?” asked Janette Fennell, founder of Kids And Cars.
Karen Cuputo’s toddler didn’t survive a backover accident in 2007. The Carlisle mother told Eyewitness News about the loss of her 20-month-old son Dillon.
“You never get over it, you deal with it,” said Karen. “You try to make something positive come out of the tragedy.”
Now, in an effort to prevent such devastating accidents, federal regulators will announce this week that automakers will be required to put rear-view cameras in all passenger vehicles by the year 2014.
Some vehicles already include cameras as standard equipment.
“It will go a long, long way to save children’s lives,” said Fennell. “It will help us drive more safely, go in reverse more safely.”
Kids And Cars says 60% of backover accidents involve large vehicles like a van, an SUV or a truck. A mini-van’s average blind zone is 28 feet. The blind zone of an SUV is 39 feet, and a truck’s blind zone is up to 50 feet.
Kids And Cars stresses that even with rear-view cameras, parents also need to look and make sure no one is behind their vehicle.
As for the cost to make rearview cameras standard, experts predict the camera systems will total $160 to $200 per vehicle, and some of that cost will be passed on to consumers.
For more info on Kids And Cars, click here.