DOT releases draft rule on rear-view visibility

Washington – The Department of Transportation on March 23 released a draft (.pdf file) of its proposed rear-view visibility rule during a hearing that attracted families who have lost loved ones to back-over motor vehicle incidents.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood later wrote in a blog post that the rule would eliminate blind zones as part of an effort to prevent cars from backing over pedestrians. At the hearing, he said an average of nearly 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur each year, and a disproportionate number are toddlers and the elderly, according to a press release.

The yet-to-be-published NPRM was required by Congress as part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to amend rear-view visibility standards. The act was named after a 2-year-old who died after his father accidentally backed over him with an SUV.

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