PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Department of Transportation issued a new rule Monday aimed at saving lives.
The rear visibility safety rule mandates that all vehicles under 10,000 pounds must have rear visibility technology by May 2018.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that there are 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries a year caused by back-over crashes.
In a statement U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said, “As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”
The advocacy group, kidsandcars.org sued the D.O.T. after it failed to issue a ruling 3 years ago.
“The auto industry fought us because of dollars and cents, that’s the basic bottom line. The advocacy of parents who had suffered the pain and turned that pain into advocacy, they were the driving force behind this,” said advocate Sue Auriemma.
Auriemma accidentally backed into her 3-year-old daughter in 2005. Luckily, her daughter survived.
According to Consumer Reports, most vehicles can have a blind spot as big as 50 feet, which could be the length of standard driveway. Advocates say the addition of back-up cameras adds awareness but is not fool proof.
“Of course drivers are going to need to learn how to use them and need to understand you can’t rely on it 100%. You still need to turn and look over your shoulder as you’re backing up,” said Auriemma.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 70 lives a year will be saved once vehicles are equipped with back up cameras.