Feds delay rule aimed at preventing backover accidents in Chicago, elsewhere

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this week it is delaying a mandate that all new vehicles be equipped with backup cameras, which had been aimed at reducing Chicago parking lot accidents and accidents involving vehicles backing over victims in driveways.

Chicago personal injury attorneys understand the tragic consequences of such accidents, which frequently occur around the holidays and often involve a relative who strikes a small child or a child or older adult who is run down in a busy parking lot.As we reported in December on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, the government had been set to require some new vehicles be equipped with the cameras next year, with the goal of having the cameras installed in all new vehicles by 2014.

In a carefully worded statement the NHTSA said it will now seek to have a permanent rule by the end of this year, following a public hearing on the issue, at which it apparently got an ear full from the auto industry. Automotive World reports the new rule will be postponed after the NHTSA indicated it needs more time for analysis and comments.

“Every year, nearly 300 people are killed and 18,000 more are injured when someone, often a parent or grandparent, backs over them,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “To put an end to these tragedies, we have proposed a new safety rule and are seeking further public feedback.”

The goal of last week’s hearing was to permit industry groups and other interested parties a chance to comment.

“Safety is our top priority and the steps we are proposing, with the public’s help and input, will reduce back-over fatalities and injuries not only to children, but to the elderly, and other pedestrians,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said.

U.S. News & World Report referenced a study that indicates the new rule could cost the industry about $2.7 billion a year.

If you or a loved one is injured in a Chicago parking lot accident or in a backover accident in Illinois, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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