Make car backups safer, feds told

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Accident victims talk at hearing; agency considers system for cameras on all vehicles

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington " The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performer heartbreaking testimony Wednesday as of a survivor and parents of brood who had person's name struck by vehicles support up.

NHTSA, opposite a anxiety limit in February to set new principles to stop back-over deaths, late its final system following automakers raised a number of more frequently supposed not technological objections to the proposed regulation.

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Brandy Dahlen, 30, of Birmingham, Ala., told central regulators how her 2-year-old, Abigail, died in a back-over collide in April 2010 " two existence following her birthday.

"She was the existence of our family," supposed Dahlen, the mother of five.

Abigail had chased following a tennis ball eager on a neighbor's driveway and tripped; a 19-year-old neighbor in a full-size SUV, heading out for pizza, accidentally backed in excess of her.

Her 4-year-old brother was nearby and inappropriately to discontinue the vehicle. "He motionless generation nowadays by means of so as to guilt so as to he was not clever to discontinue the car," Dahlen said.

"He tells me he needs to go to heaven, too."

At the hospital, Dahlen learned the small girl was dead.

"I was screaming clearly and armed up in excess of to her and begging her to now smile at me one additional time," Dahlen supposed in tears. "I consideration if I might see her dimples one additional time, I counting be OK."

Dahlen supposed automakers have to do additional to stop as,at the same occasion as deaths, in spite of of cost.

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"In all honesty, come again? is the worth of a life? It doesn't substance come again? the cost is," Dahlen said. "It's too late to do the correct obsession for her. It's too late to save her, but the relax of America's brood motionless require this."

Patrick Ivison of San Diego was hit in 1995 as a 14-month-old. Now 16, he is confined to a wheelchair, unable to dress or shower with no help but clever to drive following most important of frequently of therapy. He bought an old van by means of 200,000 on foot " and correct away wrap up a $60 rear-view camera.

"I'm not at petroleum time nowadays to complain concerning my life. I survived an accident so as to a lot of additional didn't," Ivison said.

"I am at petroleum time to honor persons brood so as to didn't survive. I desire to talk on completely behalf so so as to earth appreciate so as to it is not possible to avoid hitting amazing you lined see."

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland supposed obligatory backup cameras "may alter the face of security approximately the world."

The regulations probable counting guide to automakers installing backup cameras in all vehicles by 2014 " a go,shift aimed at saving 100 generation a year.

NHTSA has extended the community comment to April 18 and after that tactics to finalize the rule by year's end.

About 100 of the almost 300 fatalities in backup crashes every day engage brood age 5 or younger, NHTSA supposed in announcing the proposed rules. One-third of the deaths engage populace 70 and older.

For vehicles with no a show screen, the regulation counting boost the per-vehicle cost by $159 to $203. For vehicles by means of show screens, the extra cost counting be $58 to $88.

dshepardson@detnews.com

(202) 662-8735

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