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Judy Neiman with a picture of her daughter Sydnee  (Source: Yahoo News)
They suspect cost is the driving force

Even though the regulations for backup cameras in new vehicles is near, grieving parents and safety advocates want to know what the heck has taken so long.

The rearview camera mandate would make it so every vehicle would have a backup camera for seeing behind the vehicle when in reverse. The idea was triggered by the 300 deaths and 16,000 injuries annually caused by a driver's inability to see behind their vehicle when backing up. Many of the injuries and death affect young children and senior citizens. 

Judy Neiman, 53, of West Richland, Washington, is just one of the many people who have experienced a tragic death due to driving a car in reverse without properly checking her surroundings before backing up. She accidentally backed over and killed her 9-year-old daughter, Sydnee.

"They have to do something, because I've read about it happening to other people. I read about it and I said, 'I would die if it happens to me,'" said Neiman. "Then it did happen to me."

The White House is doing something about it, but there have been several delays in regulating the use of these cameras. The rearview camera regulations date back to 2007, when Congress initially approved legislation to set these standards by February 28, 2011. This date was delayed to February of this year, and again to December 31.

While the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are both behind the making of these new standards, others, namely automakers, have worried that the cost of installing these cameras on each vehicle would drive the price up too high. Parents and safety advocates blame worries regarding cost for the delays in safety. 

NHTSA estimated that adding backup cameras to every car would add $58 to $88 to the price of vehicles that have an existing dashboard display screens. It would cost $159 to $203 for those without them.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said he is meeting with White House officials to finalize the regulations by December 31.

In the meantime, Neiman grieves over her lost child who had survived four open-heart surgeries like a champ, but was eventually killed due to her mistake. She couldn't see her 4-foot tall daughter behind her van when pulling out of the garage.

Source: Yahoo News

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RE: ???
By talikarni on 12/28/2012 3:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
Time to expand driving license requirements and testing. During the driving test, give them all the normal distractions of modern newer vehicles including:

1) the instructors phone connected via bluetooth and someone calls (which comes through the car) during the drive with callerID showing as "Mom".
a) If they answer the call while driving, even hands free, points deducted. If they pull over and stop to take the call, then points added.
b) If they ignore it, have them call 3 times in a row (just like many moms would do) to see if the person would cave and answer it, or pull over to a complete stop and take the call.

2) Even for teens, have a mandatory kids car seat portion that also includes a video of "What happens in an accident if kids are not buckled in, or buckled in properly".

3) If no "roundabout" circles are in the area, have a driving course with a normal full size one... these seem to just confuse the crap out of people on my stretch of Florida. Either they run right through without slowing down or looking (sometimes causing an accident), or else they come to a complete stop waiting for all 8+ other vehicles to go through, instead of working their way in as a yield to wait for an opening or your turn.

4) At random intervals (as in not all driving tests, but random ones at least once or twice a day), have another instructor follow the driver being tested to cut them off, speed up to get in front of the car then slam on the brakes to turn, stuff like that. Try to see if the person caves easily to road rage, and if so then use that as a denial of license.

5) Require full eye exam, written test and driving tests every 10 years for all drivers (use 5 year renewal time periods). I know people like my parents who got their licenses in the 1960s and have never had to do any modern testing methods, their license is just renewed every 4-6 years. With online payments, snail mail and ease of access, it is simple enough for people to not have to ever visit the DMV after they take their initial tests (which for some people has been decades). Luckily most of FL requires we visit the DMV office to renew.

To the OP:
* She said her VAN, not SUV and the Escalade is obviously an SUV.

* Looking at her age, it was probably 5+ years ago before there were even many aftermarket cameras, BUT there were plenty of newer vehicles with backup detection systems. I suspect she had a pre-2000 van, or else a basic model van without it.
My current 2004 Durango SUV has the "backup beeps" if anything is behind the vehicle like a bike, kid or pole... although my wife still backed into a pole despite the constant beeping telling her to stop, so it takes driver education, not just implement something without the education.

RE: ???
By fredgiblet on 12/29/2012 4:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
The one thing I have to say about 1 is this, I take calls while driving sometimes, but I never let them go longer than 15-20 seconds. If I'm making a call I have a specific thing to say/ask, I get the answer and I hang up. If someone is calling me I answer them as quickly as possible, if they want to talk I tell them I'm driving and I'll call them back. End of story.

I don't see using the phone while dirivng as a problem, it's people who don't STOP using it that are the problem.

As for roundabouts, there was a proposal in my town recently to put a pair of roundabous in the MIDDLE of the highway to town. That got shot down REALLY fast. The people who are designing out roads must be obsessed with them because the revised design used them for the interchange, which has all the same problems you're talking about.

Roundabouts are nice, when everyone understands how to use them.

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