Dougherty County Police urge drivers check for kids

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Police are urging you to be aware of children around your car, especially when you're backing up.

Kids and Cars dot org reports that on average each week in the U-S 50 children are backed over by vehicles, and two of them die.

Today's cars, especially SUV's, have higher rear ends and bigger blind zones in the rear. Today Dougherty County Police checked their cars, with surprising results.

Dougherty County Police Lt. Anthony Rogers checks his 2013 Dodge Charger police cruiser. A three foot tall cone 15 feet directly behind his car can't be seen.

Backing up, even using all three mirrors gives no view of the cone, and could lead to a tragedy. A father of two, Lt. Rogers is surprised and concerned.

Rogers said "Even if you lift up off the seat to look in the mirror, you still can't see them. That was just surprising."

Modern cars have low fronts and higher rear ends, leading to bigger blind zones in the rear. Dougherty County Police urge drivers to be more cautious.

Dougherty County Police Investigator Tamiko Whitlock said "Check around you vehicle before you get into that vehicle. A lot of people drive the high SUV's now, and it's difficult to be 2 or 3 year olds in those SUV's. Just make sure you know where your children are at all times."

With spring and warmer weather, kids will be outdoors playing more, increasing the need for driver caution at all times. Walk around your car before backing, and teach your kids to stand in front where they can be seen. Lt. Rogers said police are taught an extra precautionary step.

Rogers said "We like to try to blow the horn at least twice when we're backing, to notify people that we are going to back up or whatever. That is another tool you can use at home."

Back up cameras and warning sensors are now available on many new cars, and you can have them installed in your vehicle. For a family with young children, that could be a life saving investment.

With spring, lots of people have their kids at youth baseball, soccer, or other sports everyday.  And of course that means lots of kids in parking lots with moving cars. Dougherty County Police are urging drivers to use caution, walk around your car before you back, look twice, to avoid any more tragedies.

Kids and Cars dot org reports that 60-percent of back up incidents in which children are hit involve a large vehicle such as an S-U-V, van, or truck.

In 70-percent of those incidents a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.

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