Off Beat: Feds in the slow lane
Tristan Wolteche-Clark's tragic death earlier this month in Linda was eminently preventable.
Unfortunately for the 3-year-old, the federal government has been a bit slow in implementing a rule that could have saved his life.
The boy suffered fatal injuries when his brother accidentally backed over him in a pickup while Tristan was playing in the family's driveway.
Just two months ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it wanted to have rearview cameras in all 2014 passenger car models.
The agency had initially announced this in 2010 in response to a 2008 federal law.
Backup accidents are the last frontier of automobile safety.
You've got your seat belts, air bags and a whole host of other measures that make driving safer, but the rearview camera has been a long time coming.
The Injury Board Blog Network noted in a recent post that almost 1,000 people have died in backover accidents since 2008 when a bill requiring all new cars and light trucks to be fitted with a rearview camera was signed into law.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 221 U.S. deaths and 14,000 injuries annually are a result of backover accidents by drivers who didn't see someone behind their vehicle.
Kids and Cars, a Kansas-based group advocating for the rearview camera, says, "Two children are killed and another 50 injured each week in backover incidents," and most of the child victims are between the ages of 12 and 23 months.
The Department of Transportation has estimated that about 300 lives annually would be saved if the rearview camera was implemented.
Rearview cameras are standard equipment in nearly 50 percent of all cars sold in the U.S. in 2012.
The cost to add the camera and screen to a vehicle? About $200.
The 20th anniversary of the killings at Lindhurst High School is in a few days, and the events at the Olivehurst school on May 1, 1992, are still remembered, even in England.
Yes, The Independent, one of the more prestigious English papers, ran a story earlier this month with this headline: "Death wish: How did America become the land of the high school massacre?"
The story then proceeded to answer the question, and it makes for interesting reading.
At the bottom of the article was The Independent's list of school killings in America, from 1974 to 2008.
And on the list is this one: "1992: May 1 California, Olivehurst, Lindhurst High School — four killed."