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Senator Schumer Pushes for Enforcement of Rearview Camera Law

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Senator Charles E. Schumer

Senator Charles E. Schumer (official portrait, courtesy of his website).

The federal government has been stalling for five years since legislation mandating rearview cameras in new cars was passed and signed into the books and needs to move forward to implement it, said Senator Charles E. Schumer in a Manhattan press conference on Sunday. As Jamille Sutton writes for the New York Daily News:

Schumer (D-N.Y.) cited at least 200 fatalities and 17,000 injuries annually in demanding no more delays in implementation of a 2008 law requiring the new backup technology. […]

The law has never taken [effect] as the auto industry said the installation of these cameras may cost billions of dollars. The federal Department of Transportation said additional research is needed to confirm if rear-view cameras are the best way to save lives.

The mandate for implementation of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Transportation Safety Act,was recently pushed back to January 2015, as the Department of Transportation said it need to “further investigate” enforcement, Maria Alvarez writes for Long Island Newsday. She adds:

‘This law was signed by President Bush,’ Schumer (D-N.Y.) said with the two families of children struck by cars backing up standing at his side at a Manhattan news conference. ‘This should have been done in 2011. We’re going to push hard and stop the DOT from throwing up roadblocks.’

The law was named for two-year-old Cameron Gulbransen, whose father, a Syosset pediatrician, accidentally backed over the boy, killing him. Alvarez writes that appearing at the press conference with Schumer were Adriann Raschdorf-Nelson and her husband, Bill Nelson of Dix Hills, who lost their 16-month-old son Alec when his grandfather accidentally backed over him while pulling out of the family’s driveway. Also at the press conference was Susan Auriemma, who accidentally backed over her 3-year-old daughter Kate when the little girl ran into the driveway in 2005.

Alvarez quotes her:

I heard a scream and it sounded like kids playing, but then I remembered what happened to Dr. Gulbransen and knew the same thing had just happened to me. If I would have kept going not knowing that these things could happen, my daughter would have not recovered.

This blog reported on September 26, 2013, that four consumer safety groups and two parents who injured or killed their children while backing up with vehicles filed a federal lawsuit in New York, to try and force U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to issue a final safety rule within 90 days of Sept. 25 to require the rearview cameras in all new cars. The safety groups say that the government’s failure to require the cameras has allowed the death toll in “backup” accidents to increase. The groups include the Consumers Union of the United States; Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; Public Citizen; and KidsAndCars.org.

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