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Obama administration faces lawsuit for failure to 'back up' law

A lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, Sept. 25 naming the Obama administration for failing to enforce a legal promise made by Congress nearly six years ago. That promise came in the form of a law passed in 2007. That law created a 2011 deadline for the Transportation Department to put into place a requirement that car manufacturers include a backup warning device on every vehicle they make.

It has been approximately two years since that deadline passed, and no action has been taken. A film student at the University of Southern California said that “every day that it’s not in place, another two kids get hit.” If you think that his estimation is a little bit of an exaggeration, you’d be wrong.

While these backup cameras are unlikely to stop backup accidents, they could at least help prevent some of the serious or fatal injuries that occur every day. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 228 light-vehicle backup incidents ended the life of an individual in 2010, and 44 percent of those fatalities were children under the age of 5.

The statistic above doesn’t even come close the number of car accidents in which the victim survived with life-altering injuries. A 19-year-old boy shared his story with USA today reporters. He was struck as a child by a driver who didn’t see him when backing up, and this failure left him in a wheelchair for life.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of young victims and car-safety advocates. Their hope is that the lawsuit would simply prompt action on a law already in place.

We must still remember that people were behind the wheel of the car every time. In many cases, a backup camera wouldn’t have stopped injury from occurring as a result of an inattentive driver. Victims of this negligent distraction may have a claim for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: USA TODAY, “Administration sued over backup camera delay,” Fred Meier and Chris Woodyard, Sept. 26, 2013

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