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Parents Who Backed Over Own Children Plan Federal Lawsuit

The death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, but what if the parent is the person who caused it?

Greg Gulbransen, a pediatrician from Oyster Bay, N.Y., knows exactly how that feels.

Gulbransen was moving his wife’s car, a BMW SUV, from a parking spot in the street and backing it into their driveway. According to a Houston Chronicle report, “[Gulbransen] checked his mirrors and put the vehicle in reverse ... He felt a slight bump on the right side of the SUV and stepped out and saw Cameron on the driveway in his blue pajamas holding his baby blanket.”

After the tragedy, Gulbransen reached out to to champion for better visibility behind vehicles. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) introduced a bill in 2003 dubbed “Cameron’s Law,” which would have required safety standards that would hopefully reduce the likelihood of such accidents. The bill, however, never made it out of committee.

Eventually the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was passed in 2007. The law gave transportation officials three years in which to issue regulations that would help reduce backovers. Ray LaHood, then-Transportation Secretary, used a power written into the law to announce delay after delay in implementing the rule that would require back-up cameras in all new cars by 2014.

After nearly three years of waiting, Gulbransen and other consumer advocates plan to sue the Federal government, specifically the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the hopes of finally getting the law passed.

The federal organization recently released a recommendation to start listing backup cameras as recommended safety equipment, but for the advocates behind the lawsuit it isn’t nearly enough. Still, the government claims that it is taking its time to ensure the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefits.


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