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US House Energy and Commerce Committee Gives Holiday Gift - New Vehicle Child Safety Bill Passed!

Published Dec 26th 2007, 2:59pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Baby_driving I am so happy and excited to report that the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on a voice vote, passed a bill that would require federal regulators to consider ways of diminishing blind zones in large SUVs and pickups, prevent vehicles from rolling away and making power windows safer.

A Senate committee approved similar legislation in May following reports of children being backed over in their driveways. Safety advocates estimate that about four children die each week in backovers, strangulation from power windows or from being left behind in hot vehicles. has been a leader in advocating legislation that would reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside and outside of motor vehicles. According to the site, 84 children under the age of 15 have already died this year in non-traffic related accidents, of which half are backovers. is hopeful this extra push from Oprah and her viewers will bring additional awareness required to help to propel the Cameron Gulbransen KIDS AND CARS Safety Act of 2007 (S. 694 & H.R. 1216) over the finish line. The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue safety standards to address three key problem areas in vehicles - blind zones, power window design and vehicles that can easily be shifted out of park without your foot on the brake pedal.

Ap_seen_on_oprah Oprah Winfrey aired a segment entitled "Life Saving Lessons From Families Like Yours" in 2007. This show featured an item on impaired driving and another piece featuring the dangers of blindzones behind vehicles and has been another advocate for this important piece of legislation to get passed.

Automakers objected to earlier versions of the bill, arguing that it would require them to install expensive backup cameras in their vehicles to meet the new standards.

Under the compromise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would need to require vehicles to expand the rearward field of view to help drivers detect children or objects behind the vehicle.

The enhanced visibility could be accomplished through additional mirrors, sensors, cameras or other technologies. NHTSA would have to issue a final rule within three years of the bill's enactment.


Jody DeVere


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