Even though motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children from the ages of 3 to 14 in the United States. I believe most all of our readers will be shocked to learn that the federal government has failed to enact safety standards and gather child safety information to adequately protect them. Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook testified before the Senate Consumer Affairs, Insurance, and Automotive Safety Subcommittee – a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation – last month. Her testimony dealt with improving efforts to protect children from vehicle-related injury. The Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2007 is currently pending in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
In her testimony, Ms. Claybrook criticized the current lack of child safety information available to policy makers and the public. She was also critical of the insufficiency of current vehicle safety standards in general and especially with regard to children. Her testimony addressed the risks children face inside the vehicle, outside the vehicle, and in school buses. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,946 children were killed and 234,000 children were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2005. Among the gaps in child safety in vehicle safety standards, Ms. Claybrook identified side impact crashes, rollover crashes and collapsing seat backs as particularly dangerous for children as well as adults. She also spoke about the need for greater safety standards and consumer information for child restraints, including making mandatory the installation of built-in restraints. I encourage our readers to obtain a copy of Ms. Claybrook’s testimony and read it carefully by going to Public Citizen’s Web site, www.citizen.org. This will allow you to understand the full impact of the urgent need for Congress to act in this important area of concern.
Source: Public Citizen
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