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Automakers To Eliminate Back-up Blind Spots

Long Island Man Turns Unspeakable Tragedy Into A Positive
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Car back-up cameras

One Long Island father’s tragedy has turned into action that could help keep children safe near cars and SUVs. (Photo: CBS 2)

jennifermclogan Jennifer McLogan
Jennifer McLogan returned to WCBS-TV in 1993 to cover Long Island...
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SYOSSET, N.Y. (CBS 2) — What could be more heart-wrenching? A Long Island father accidentally backed his SUV over his 2-year-old son, killing him.

But instead of drowning in their grief, he and his family pushed for a new law to end this driveway danger.

CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports on one couple’s blind spot battle.

“Living through the loss of a child, particularly when you are responsible for it, was just a complete, utter, devastating tragedy,” Greg Gulbransen said.

For Gulbransen and his wife, Leslie, life as they knew it ended on that evening eight years ago.

After feeling a bump under the wheel his headlights lit up a scene on his driveway that would change their lives forever. Their precious 2-year-old son, Cameron, laid sprawled, clutching a blanket and bleeding heavily from his head.

“I really didn’t want to tell the story. I didn’t want to go through the pain of this whole thing. I didn’t want to be involved with it all,” Gulbransen said.

Gulbransen, a pediatrician, was contacted by dozens of other parents who, too, had backed over their little ones, injuring or killing them. They pleaded with the doctor to take their fight to Washington.

“I see my son lying under my husband’s truck. My daughter on the ground, her face covered with blood. We never thought this would happen to us because we were careful,” Leslie said.

Sponsored by Rep. Peter King, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, the federal government just announced following 60 days of public comment. Mandatory changes are expected, requiring automakers to eliminate blind zones, outfitting new vehicles with monitors that display a live image while driving in reverse.

“It helps with the healing. You never heal when you lose a child, certainly not when you lose one like this,” Greg Gulbransen said.

It is bittersweet for the Gulbransens. They are proud their little son got so much done in such a brief lifetime.

“I felt like I had to do it. And I’m glad I did it — for everybody,” Greg said.

Ten percent of new cars in 2012 will have the back-up cameras. By 2014, 100 percent must comply. The government estimates the cost at $150-$200 extra per vehicle – money the Gulbransens said is worth every penny.

An auto industry spokesman told McLogan the cameras will cost car makers up to $3 billion, the cost to be passed to consumers.

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