Legislation & Lobbying

Proposed Bill Targets 'Bye-Bye Syndrome'

It happens so often that there’s a name for it: bye-bye syndrome. A small child, eager to say goodbye to a beloved relative or friend, rushes up to a car backing out of the driveway and is run over and killed.

Some 200 people throughout the country are killed in back-up accidents each year, most of them small children or elderly. But federal legislation introduced with bipartisan support in Congress could help reduce that death toll by requiring vehicles to be equipped with modern technology, such as rear-view cameras, to help reduce the blind spots that prevent drivers from seeing they are about to run into a small child, reports the Miami Herald.

Nearly half of the children killed in non-highway accidents between 2002 and 2006 died in backing accidents, and more than 7,400 children 14 or younger were treated in hospital emergency rooms for back-over injuries between 2001 and 2003.

The problem has worsened in recent years, as more people drive bigger vehicles with bigger blind spots, according to Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Cars. ”It’s always been a problem, but you had much better visibility in sedans and other vehicles in the past,” she says. “Now everybody is driving a pickup truck or an SUV or a minivan.”

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