Government delays backover safety rules- children and older adults most at risk of Carolina car accidents

As a follow-up to a previous post on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog regarding the government’s proposal to reduce backover accidents, our Asheville personal injury lawyers note the government has now decided to delay implementation of the program.

There are approximately 300 deaths involving Backover accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere in the country each year. A high percentage of victims in these kinds of accidents involve senior citizens and children ages 5 and under. A popular location for backover accidents is in merchant parking lots or in the driver’s own driveway.
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Back in December 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation responded to Congress’ request to find enact the new safety regulation as part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Act of 2007. The proposal was to expand the required field of view for vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds so that when driven in reverse, the driver could see directly behind the vehicle. The proposed option of rear mounted cameras or in-vehicle displays were to begin installation in new models by September 2012.

Automakers would be required to have 10 percent of new vehicles comply by 2012, 40 percent by 2013, and 100 percent compliance in all new models by 2014.

The Detroit News reports that once again, the government is backing down after a meeting with representative from the automotive industry. The article states that the Obama Administration needs more time to finalize the proposal. The original deadline for the proposal was March 1st but the U.S. Department of Transportation stated they needed more time to evaluate comments made from the public during the recent open period.

The new regulations are estimated to cost the auto industry between $1.9 and $2.7 billion annually, which is a more probable reason for the delay amid pressure by groups like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Rest assured that consumers will ultimately pay the price for new safety regulations. It is expected the regulations will increase the cost per vehicle by as much as $203. We think that’s a small price to pay to save a life.

The government continues to seek the opinion of victims, public interests groups and industry leaders before making a final decision on the new regulations, as recently reported by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A day long forum was held to hear the views of many interested parties.

“Safety is our top priority and the steps we are proposing, with the public’s help and input, will reduce back-over fatalities and injuries not only to children, but to the elderly, and other pedestrians,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a backover or other car-related accident in Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

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