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Backup car accidents preventable but tech regulation stalled

We've all seen the cool backup cameras and sensors available as options on many vehicle. This new technology still comes as a premium on many cars and light trucks. However, many people don't realize that had the Department of Transportation made a regulation as mandated by Congress, all 2014 model cars and light trucks would be required to have backup cameras or sensors.

An act of Congress in 2007 required the Department of Transportation to put in place a regulation by 2011 mandating car manufacturers to install these backup safety devices. So far, no such regulation has been implemented by the DOT. In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which operates under the DOT found that approximately 228 people per year die in backup accidents.

The victims of backup car accidents are often children under the age of 5 or adults over the age of 70. If a simple technological change can help save even a few hundred lives, it might be a good idea to equip our vehicles with such technology.

Now, because the DOT has not followed the orders from Congress, a group of individuals whose lives have been effected by backup car accidents, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration to try to get the regulation put in place. Although this action will not bring back those who lost their lives, it can help prevent future accidents. Two parents who accidentally backed over their own children were the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Source: USA Today, "Administration sued over backup camera delay," Fred Meier and Chris Woodyard, Sept. 26, 2013

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