Glen Allen mother pleads with lawmakers to help prevent backover accidents

Posted at 8:11 AM, Apr 11, 2013

GLEN ALLEN, Va (WTVR) -- For any parent the thought of losing a child is their worst nightmare.  You take every precaution to protect your child but then the unimaginable happens--an accident while backing out of a driveway or parking lot resulting in serious injury or death.

Unfortunately backover accidents have been a sad reality for thousands of families.  And today one Glen Allen mother is taking her story and her campaign to curb the startling statistics from the Commonwealth to Capitol Hill.

Meredyth Bryant lost her two-year-old daughter Annabelle in 2005, after the little girl was backed over by a contractor's truck in the family driveway.  Years later Bryant's fight to make it mandatory to install rear view cameras continue.

In 2008 a Transportation Safety Act was signed into law requiring the US DOT issue standards to address blind zones in vehicles that prevent drivers from seeing children and pedestrians when backing up.  However the rear view standards have yet to be issued.

Since the law passed, reports indicate over 1,000 deaths and 70,000 injuries have resulted from backover accidents.

"It's extremely frustrating. More than 1,000 children have died just in that time delay,” Bryant said.  "It's like why, why aren't they getting it done?  Why is it taking so long?  It's something that should be a given when you come in and say these are the statistics, this is what's happening, this is how much you are not seeing behind the vehicle.  It should just be a given to have it done."

One of the ongoing issues requiring backup cameras deals with cost.  It's estimated the device would add as much as $200 to the price of a new vehicle.  But for mothers like Bryant she said that is a small price to pay when it comes to protecting a child.

"It still might take some time to implement everything.  Once it’s all said and done I think we will notice the numbers will drastically come down," Bryant said.  "It will just kind of be a big sigh of relief.  Too little too late for us, but going forward if he can save lives and that's what's important to us now."

Meredyth Bryant will join other parents to talk with lawmakers and federal transportation officials at noon today in Washington D.C. The Glen Allen mother said she will continue going to D.C. if necessary to encourage legislators to require those backup cameras to prevent another mother, another family from experiencing a tragedy similar to hers.