Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a measure passed by Congress in 2008 that has yet to be acted on by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The measure has been designed to prevent specific kinds of car accidents involving accidental back-overs of children, animals and pedestrians. Congress gave the DOT until February of 2011 to issue guidelines to auto manufacturers that would require them to improve rear visibility in new passenger vehicle models.
This requirement is pressing, as back-over crashes kill more than 225 Americans each year and injure an additional 17,000 or so. Of those killed, more than 100 are children under the age of 10. The DOT insisted in February of 2012 that the guidelines would be released before the end of that year. It is now 2013 and still no action has been taken.
In general, experts believe that the DOT will mandate that rearview cameras will be required in new models and that some will be altered to have wider fields of vision when motorists are attempting to reverse. The concept is simple but executing it has proven to be difficult for the DOT.
Some have speculated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has delayed issuing final guidelines due to pressure from manufacturers concerned about cost. Others believe that the NHTSA is unsure of how to tackle the issue most effectively.
What is clear is that the DOT has had a significant amount of time to act on this issue and has failed to meet its deadlines again and again. Each week that these guidelines are delayed, lives are lost and individuals are injured as a result of inadequate safety features in motor vehicles. The time to act is now.
Source: AOL Autos, “White House Dragging Feet On Car Tech Known For Saving Kids,” Dec. 26, 2012