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Child Safety Advocates Win Fight for Mandatory Backup Cameras

Child Safety Advocates Win Fight for Mandatory Backup Cameras

On a tragic day in 2002, pediatrician Dr. Greg Gulbransen was moving his SUV from the street to his driveway when he accidentally backed over his two-year-old son, Cameron. Ultimately, Cameron died from injuries he received in the accident. And Cameron is not alone. Two children die every week in backover accidents and many more are injured.

In larger vehicles especially, like trucks and SUVs, the blind spots are too large. If a small child gets behind a large vehicle, he cannot be seen by the driver. That is why backup cameras are such an important safety feature.


Many parents, like Dr. Gulbransen, have worked with safety advocates and legislators to make automobiles safer by requiring backup cameras. The result was the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2007. It mandated the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require automakers to have standard backup cameras in vehicles after 2014. The NHTSA dragged its feet and delayed enacting this regulation. Under pressure from families, advocates, and legislators, it finally imposed this requirement phasing it in from 2016 to 2018.

At Camera Source, we'd like to take a moment to honor and thank those responsible for this legislation and for continuing to advocate for child safety features in automobiles.

Jan Schakowsy and Peter King

Representatives Jan Schakowsy (D) from Illinois and Peter King (R) from New York sponsored this legislation in the House of Representatives. It was passed on December 19, 2007, and an identical bill was passed unanimously by the Senate in February of 2008. President Bush quickly signed the bill into law on February 28, 2008.

Peter King was Dr. Gulbransen's representative and initiated the legislation in order to prevent these kinds of backover tragedies. He worked with Jan Schakowsy to create a piece of bipartisan legislation that everyone could get behind.

Schakowsy and King maintained consistent pressure on the Obama administration to get the NHTSA to issue the rules required by the 2007 law. These rules were not enacted until March 2014.

Following the final victory, Schakowsy celebrated in an editorial saying, "While it took far too long for federal regulators to implement the law, it would not have happened without the persistence of dedicated families who turned their personal tragedy into positive action by coming to Washington, D.C. to ask us to address this problem."

Kids and Cars is an important advocacy group for children's safety features in vehicles

Janette Fennel

Kids and Cars is an important advocacy group for children's safety features in vehicles. In 1995, Janette and her husband were kidnapped and forced into the trunk of their vehicle while their abductors used it to flee. After this terrible experience, Fennel became an advocate for safety features in cars that would prevent trunk entrapment.

This advocacy soon expanded into other auto safety issues and resulted in the formation of Kids and Cars. In addition to raising awareness about auto safety, Kids and Cars keeps data on nontraffic auto accidents that occur on private property. The government is only collecting data about accidents on public property, but most accidents like backovers or power window strangulations occur on private property.

Fennel played a major role in passage of the Cameron Gulbransen Act and continued to advocate for its enforcement when the NHTSA delayed enforcing the law. She challenged the agency to act by asking: "Every day this rule is delayed puts children at risk. Today just about every cell phone you purchase today comes with a camera. Is it too much to ask to have a camera on our vehicles to save a life?"

Another organization that weighed in on the backup camera legislation is the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, headed by Jackie Gillian

Jackie Gillan

Another organization that weighed in on the backup camera legislation is the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, headed by Jackie Gillian. After the Gulbranson Act's passage, she commented, "We know what the problems are, we have inexpensive and effective technological solutions available and now we will have a law that includes deadlines for federal government action.”

Moving Forward With Auto Safety

Trucks and automobiles are great things, but we have to work hard to make sure that they are safe. We have to thank these individuals and many others for their tireless work in advocating for backup cameras. Soon every vehicle will come standard with this important safety feature. This will prevent many needless deaths and injuries.

If you have a vehicle without a backup camera, they are inexpensive and easy to install. At Camera Source, we can help you make your vehicle safer by installing the right backup camera for your vehicle.

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Camera Source Is Your One Stop Shop For Quality Backup Cameras and Car Accessories. We carry everything from RV Backup Cameras to Backup Cameras For Ford F150 TrucksToyota Tacoma Trucks and several other automotive brands. We also carry several options for navigation systems, rear view mirror monitors and bluetooth kits. Shop our car, truck, RV, tractor and fleet backup camera solutions today!

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