For years, backup cameras were an added feature in vehicles, but a new federal regulation makes them required in all newly manufactured vehicles.
“Never thought I’d have kids, and now that I have one, it’s an extra scare for me,” Marti Perry, of Cohoes, said.
As a parent, Perry is more conscious about her driving than ever. She’s worried she may not see a kid or anyone coming her way.
“I’m always paranoid,” she said. “Always looking back and forth making sure nobody’s around when I’m backing up.”
That fear is mutual for Melissa Ofiesh, of Albany.
“There’s been times I’ve had to slam on my brakes just because somebody’s walking out from behind a car that I didn’t see,” she said.
And having a son of her own, she knows just how fast they can run off.
“We all do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen, but it does,” Ofiesh said. “I mean, kids are kids.”
Unfortunately, it sometimes leads to deadly consequences. According to the Department of Transportation, backup related crashes kill more than 200 people and injure 12,000 others every year.
More than half of those killed are children under five or adults 70 and older. One was a two-year old from Long Island who inspired change nationwide.
A federal regulation went into effect on Wednesday that all new vehicles sold and leased in the country will be required to have a backup camera.
Tim Gagliardi, of Colonie, calls it a step in the right direction.
“Anything that can help save a life or prevent an accident I think is a positive,” he said.
It comes at a cost. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects the systems to add about $140 to the price of a new car. But that won’t matter to Perry.
“For a child’s life – anybody’s life really,” she said. “It’s not just a child. Anybody’s life that’s coming right behind you – even an animal. It’s worth it.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, rear view cameras have reduced backup related crashes by 17 percent.