A collective cheer went up on Valentine’s Day as the Cameron Gulbransen
Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 (H.R. 1216) was unanimously
passed in the U.S. Senate. The bill addresses three of the most serious
causes of injuries and fatalities to children in and around vehicles:
getting caught in an automatically closing power window, being struck
by a backing vehicle because of a blind zone, and placing a vehicle in
gear that results in an uncontrolled roll away.
The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue new safety standards within specific time periods that will lead to the installation of safety technologies as standard equipment in all vehicles. These safety features are already available as standard equipment, upgrades, or optional in many vehicles. But this would level the playing field. The bill also requires DOT to establish a database of non-crash incidents, currently not tracked, and develop a program to provide the public with safety information regarding non-traffic dangers to young children.
Since 2000, over 1350 children have died in non-traffic
incidents. With the popularity of large SUVs with major
behind-the-vehicle blind spots, back-over incidents have increased
dramatically, from 128 in the years 1997-2001 up to 474 from 2002-2006.
This is unacceptable to any parent and we hope this legislation helps
lower fatalities and injuries.
These issues have been a concern to many of the women I know. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law. And we urge him to do so — soon.
[Via Kids and Cars]
Photo by Shayan (USA) licensed under Creative Commons.
By Becky Scott