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Friday, 23 October 2015

Toddler's death renews call for standard reversing cameras

The death of a toddler run over in the driveway of his Oakden home has prompted South Australian Road Safety Minister Tony Piccoloto call for technology such as reversing cameras to be standard features on new cars.

According to Carbide, the boy was hit just before 8.30am on the day of the accident and was rushed by his family to the Women's and Children's Hospital, but he died soon after arrival. A neighbour opposite the Westbury Court house said she heard a scream, then moments later a woman calling out.

Holden Hill police and Major Crash investigators are preparing a report for the coroner. It is unclear if the car involved in the accident had reversing cameras. The family had moved into the house recently, the neighbour said. It is the third driveway tragedy involving toddlers in South Australia in the past two years.

In December an unoccupied car rolled down a driveway at Clarendon, killing an 18-month-old girl. In February last year, a Klemzig man accidentally struck and killed his 22-month-old daughter in his driveway.

Mr Piccolo said the death of the child was an "absolute tragedy" and passed on his condolences to those involved.

"I urge all car manufacturers to consider technologies that improve road safety as a standard feature in their new cars," he said.

One in four new SUVs lack reversing cameras. An average of seven children aged under 14 were killed by cars in driveways each year over the past five years across Australia, and another 74 were seriously injured, according to Kidsafe.

Kidsafe and the Pedestrian Council have previously supported mandatory reversing cameras, while cautioning they are not perfect and drivers still need to take care.

A News Corp Australia study earlier year found that one in four new SUVs lack reversing cameras. More than 30 of the 125 SUV models on sale do not have rear cameras, even though they are standard. 

NSW Road Safety Minister Duncan Gay is pushing for mandatory cameras following the death of a three-year-old girl hit by her uncle's car in Taree. 
"It is a no-brainer – for a small price we can save children's lives," he said.

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