New bill hopes to save kids from car injuries - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New bill hopes to save kids from car injuries

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July 29, 2005

Albany-- Included in a new omnibus transportation bill is a provision that should reduce the number of child injuries and deaths from automobiles. Lawmakers want to use new technology to make kids safer on the roads. Those provisions include regulations to prevent car rollovers, crashes, back overs and power window injuries or deaths to children. Most parents will agree, it's a step in the right direction.

Although it causes a little fuss from children, parents are taking extra precautions when it comes to their kid's well-being. "I think it's very important especially for the children you have," says parent Jason Willcox. Safety is a number one concern for parents when they're driving. "To have a safe vehicle I think is important for the family," says Willcox. It's also a huge concern when shopping for new vehicles. "We looked for the child locks and latches and the airbags for all of us," says Willcox.

A new transportation bill hopes to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths among children. More parents are asking 'how safe is my automobile?'

"With so many fatalities on the road, that's one of the biggest questions," says car salesman Michael Nix. The bill seeks to be the answer to many problems including power windows. "They still may be pushing down on this end and looking out and get caught up in the window," says Nix. To prevent that, power window switches will have to be pulled up or out instead of the current rocker or toggle method. "So you have to do a little bit more to it to make that window go up," says Nix.

Under the bill, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration will also study ways to reduce backovers. Reverse sensors are helping to reduce those. "As you start backing up, they're going to start warning you of anything in your area and it starts up to six feet," says Nix. This gives you time to stop in case a child is behind you. The bill also advocates stronger roofs and improving side doors.

"To absorb that impact so the vehicle may be wrecked but you and your family can get up and walk away," says Nix. And although the sale of a car is important to dealerships, the best sale is safety. "I have people coming to me saying we had this accident and everything but we were alright and that's the biggest thing for us," says Nix.

It's also the biggest thing for families. "You need to make sure that they're well protected, not only for your driving but the driving of others," says Willcox. A new bill should help to make it a little bit easier.

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