WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released the following statement after the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a rule yesterday that will help reduce deaths caused by rearview mirror blind spots. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 200 children die each year because a driver can’t see behind their car. The rule was mandated in bipartisan legislation passed in 2008 and was required to be finalized by February 2011. The law, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, was named in honor of a young boy who was killed in a tragic accident in his own driveway.
“This action by the Administration is a welcome, but long overdue, step toward protecting children and families from tragic accidents involving cars. It has been six years since Congress came together in a bipartisan manner to enact the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which mandated rear visibility and other standards for child safety. We are finally on the path toward eliminating these heartbreaking accidents that have become far too common.”
Chairman Rockefeller has a long history of promoting auto safety. He was a cosponsor of the law that established the mandate for this safety rule in 2008, and he championed the safety provisions in the surface transportation reauthorization legislation (MAP-21), which became law in 2012.
The Chairman has also strengthened grant programs to states that help reduce impaired driving; established new grant opportunities to encourage graduated driver licensing for teens and limit distracted driving; worked to mandate lifesaving new child safety standards for rear seat belts and child seats; authorized research for advanced technologies to prevent drunk driving; and strengthened the authorities of NHTSA to conduct research and enforce safety standards.