Safety as option
It's hard for any family to deal with the accidental death of a child, but the misery is compounded even further in a particular class of accident in which another family member almost always is involved.
In 2008, President George W. Bush signed a new Transportation Safety Act mandating a federal regulation requiring better rear visibility for drivers. In the ensuing five years, no rule has been formulated, and about 1,500 people, at least a third of them children, have died after being hit by vehicles in reverse and about 70,000 have been injured. In about 60 percent of the cases, the child was in a driveway or other parking spot and struck by a vehicle driven by a relative.
We have the technology. Ground-level rear-view cameras now are common on many new, mostly high-priced vehicles.
Safety shouldn't be a luxury item, however. Such cameras should be required on all new vehicles. The auto industry has lobbied against such a rule, contending that it would add about $200 to the cost of each new vehicle.
The situation is reminiscent of airbag development. They were first offered in luxury cars until regulations required them. Since, they have saved untold numbers of lives; the public has recognized them as necessary and accepted their cost.
Mandate the cameras.