Wednesday, April 2, 2014

$1 billion of prevention

Starting in 2018, new cars will all be built with rear cameras, whether you want them or not. Hallelujah, the era of turning your head as you back up is over!

Children younger than 5 account for 31 percent of the 210 people killed annually in backover deaths, while people older than 70 account for 26 percent. Another 15,000 people are injured annually in backovers. The final regulation predicts 58 to 69 lives will be saved annually once the entire fleet has the cameras. But the actual regulation — to force cameras on the remaining vehicles that wouldn’t have had them — will save 13 to 15 lives a year and prevent up to 1,300 injuries.

Assuming drivers use them. Assuming they detect kids moving behind you in time. Assuming they last the life of the car. Assuming pedestrians aren’t getting dumber. Assuming a hundred different things.

What is certain is the cost, $546 million to $924 million per year, foisted onto car buyers.

Banning walking behind cars would be as effective.

Advocates for mandatory rear cameras filed suit seeking to compel the Obama administration to set long-delayed regulations. The suit was filed by Consumers Union—the parent of Consumer Reports—Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Kids And Cars Inc., and two parents: Dr. Greg Gulbransen and Susan Auriemma. Auriemma, of Manhasset, N.Y., who backed over her 3-year-old daughter, Kate, in her driveway in 2005, injuring her; Gulbransen, of Syosset, N.Y., backed over his 2-year-old son, Cameron, in 2002, killing him.

“I’m so happy that the rule has finally been issued—not just happy for those who worked so hard in loving memory of the child they lost to the tragedy of a backover crash, but for all those kids whose lives this rule will save going forward. This could not have come soon enough,” Auriemma said.

Once, backing out of my girlfriend’s grandma’s yard, I almost hit a kid who was walking along the sidewalk absorbed in his smart phone. He didn’t know I had come within a few feet of rubbing him into the pavement. A hedge bordering the sidewalk hid him from view until he was directly behind me.

Had he been a second slower, a rear camera would not have saved him. If two parents who accidentally ran over their kids is the rationale for a $1 billion regulation, my experience, a result of absent-mindedness, should justify a ban on all hedgerows. What’s your right to have hedges compared to a child’s life? What’s your right to have a car without a rear camera compared to a child’s life?

How quickly liberty devolves in the name of health and safety.

Source: Detroit News.

No comments:

Post a Comment