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Local mom’s advocacy for rearview cameras gets national support

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Just over two years ago, a local 19-month-old boy was run over by a car as it was backing up.  Since that day, his mother, Karen Pauly, has been advocating that all new cars have backup cameras.

Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it will add the rearview video systems to its list of recommended features under its New Car Assessment Program, which is designed to encourage vehicle manufacturers to improve their vehicles safety.

News 8 tested the effectiveness of rearview cameras Wednesday at Erikson Chevrolet in Milan, Illinois.

As we backed toward a light pole mounted in concrete, the chime on the camera alerted the vehicle was closing in on an obstacle.

We tested the camera again, replacing light pole with a person.

Once the truck was within five-feet of the subject, the chiming continued, and it got louder after each movement of the vehicle.

Erikson Chevrolet New Car Sales Manager Ray Jefferson is seeing more cars with the rearview feature.

"We are finding about 50 percent of our models have the rearview camera."

And new car salesmen like Mr. Jefferson expect to see more cars with this feature.

Safety advocates hope to see the federal government act, because they want rearview cameras mandatory in all new vehicles.