Family who fought for rearview camera legislation thrilled with - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Family who fought for rearview camera legislation thrilled with new rules

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

A Shelby County mother is thrilled to hear that the U.S. government will enforce legislation requiring rearview cameras in vehicles.

By 2018 all new vehicles will have to a backup camera installed. Brandy Dahlen only wishes the cameras had been mandated earlier. Had they been, her daughter might be alive today.

Dahlen's 2-year-old daughter Abigail was playing in the front yard April 11, 2010 when she went running after a ball in the neighbor's driveway. She tripped and fell, and like any normal toddler sat there crying. Unable to see her, a teenage driver accidentally backed over Abigail and killed her.

"Nothing in me wanted to survive," said Brandy Dahlen. "People ask me that all the time, 'How do you survive?' My best answer is I didn't want to. If I had any choice I would not still be here."

But the Dahlen family decided early on they would fight to prevent another death like Abigail's. Since Abigail's death they've adopted two children from the Ukraine, and had another little girl who looks a lot like Abigail. And as a family have spent the past four years educating the public and getting Congress to stand behind legislation they had already passed.

In 2007 congress passed legislation requiring the adoption of a rear-view visibility standard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had until 2011 to come up with the rules. Years went by and there were still no guidelines.

"It just got stuck in this bureaucracy and the red tape," said Dahlen.

But Monday they finally got the news they've been waiting on.

"We're thrilled. We're so excited. Frustrated it took this long, but thrilled they finally did the right thing and passed the standard," said Dahlen.

The decision comes just 12 days before the four year anniversary of Abigail's death.

This new standard will only apply to new vehicles. However, you can install your own camera on your vehicle for under $50.

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