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Prince Charles - (QUOTE):
"The whole of the 20th century has always put the car at the centre. So by putting the pedestrian first, you create these liveable places I think, with more attraction and interest and character ... liveability."
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Yahoo!7 News - Monday 5 July 2010

Driveway dangers

By Damien Hansen
 

In the time it takes to put a car into reverse, one momentary lapse in concentration can have fatal consequences.

Former Wallaby Brendan Cannon's 16-month-old son, Samuel, tonight remains in a critical condition in hospital after being run over by the family's 4WD.

He is expected to make a full recovery, but many are not as lucky as young Sam.

He is the fourth child in as many weeks to have been hit by a reversing car in Queensland. In the last five years, 19 children have been killed in similar slow-speed accidents around the country.

Chairman of the Pedestrian Council, Harold Scruby, is calling for legislation that ensures all vehicles are fitted with reverse cameras, in a bid to curb such accidents from happening.

"We keep seeing this time and time again, and we are doing nothing about it.

"To fit your average motor vehicle would be about one hundred dollars," Mr Scruby explained.

It is an ongoing problem, which is being highlighted by high profile cases such as that of Brendan Cannon and fellow former Wallaby Phil Kearns, whose daughter survived a similar accident in 2005.

Motoring expert John Cadogan said fixing cameras to cars will only help combat the problem, it won't fix it.

"It would be so simple for manufacturers to fit reversing cameras to every car on the production link line, and it would only add fifty dollars to the cost of a new car.

"They're part of the solution but they're not the universal fix to this problem, we need parents to understand the need to be vigilante every time they're in the driveway in a car," he said.

Statistics reveal incidents of reversing accidents have not decreased during the past decade, despite one in ten new cars being sold with reversing cameras.

"If a driveway was a work place you'd have fence up the side of it to keep workers away from vehicles. It wouldn't be unreasonable to have a pool fence types of fence along the side of a driveway in new housing estates", Mr Cadogan said.

It's a reform unlikely to be widely accepted, but experts agree on one thing - the safest place for a child to be when a car is reversing is inside it.
 
 
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