Automakers To Eliminate Back-up Blind Spots

Long Island Man Turns Unspeakable Tragedy Into A Positive

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.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • mr.m.

    Everybody will agree and pay happily if they said that is a solution to preserve your rear bumper’s car from scratches. Loosers!

    • nyphonejacks

      @mr.m. – no, i should be able to choose what products that i want installed onto my vehicle… if i choose to install a back up camera, which i think are great, then i should have the right to get one as an option from the dealer (overpriced) or have a third party one installed (at a more reasonable rate).. i should even have the option to not have one on my car if i so desire.. how would this prevent scratches on someones bumper, as OTHER person who is parallel parking behind you is going to hit your bumper while you are not in the car.
      it is the drivers responsibility to ensure that he has a clear path to operate the vehicle. since he did not ensure that he had a clear path, he should be charged criminally with negligent vehicular homicide. in no way should this add to the restrictions and regulations of everyone else, costing them additional money to purchase a vehicle…

  • mr m.

    The most of you are really bad people, it’s a shame that you just think about money… so I hope that all of you pay for the camera, and my suggestion is that you put a tape on the cam lens and smash your own dog. Stupids!

  • G

    how about if ya run over your own kid you should have to have a backup cam to protect are kids from you

  • Why Shaggy

    I sorry for your lose but use did it no me

  • peter

    More government regulation for people who aren’t responsible. Who was watching the 2 year old?

    • Johnny

      Well said. We shouldn’t have to be subjected to garbage laws and additional expenses due to someone elses negligence.

  • nyphonejacks

    who allowed something like this to pass.. the parent should be in jail for vehicular manslaughter, it was his neglect as the operator of a motor vehicle that he should have ensured that his pathway was clear to reverse the vehicle… why should the cost of some idiots stupidity be passed down to new car owners?

  • jason

    Stupid people.Back up cameras are under $100 and could have saved there life! I have one on my car it took less than 20 minutes to install it!

    • DanTe

      Woops. Sorry, “jason”, seems like you just read the “news” without bothering to check the facts. Still makes you a T ARD though. When a simple google on “back up cameras” will give you a pricing and you still take your “facts” spoon fed. And no, the cheap wireless ones don’t work – I figure I’ll let you know ahead of time, your IQ being what it is and all.

    • DanTe

      Here’s a hint “jason”, since your parents didn’t do us the favor and ran you over:

      If you have to LIE to make your point, you have NO point.

  • badman

    seriously. I check the driveway before I back out to make sure my CAT isn’t there. people can’t do the same thing for their KID?

    and if people didn’t drive these towering monster SUVs, they’d also have a lot clearer idea what was going on around them. I feel sorry for these people, but it is their own fault that it happened.

    I’m surprised they didnt try to sue the automakers. That kind of act would be right up their alley.

  • MM

    What a waste. Now I have to pay more for a car with an option I dont need…all because some bozo didnt watch his rugrat and killed him due to his own negligence.

  • Nick

    Just because a few dumb arses let their TWO YEAR OLDS roam around outside the house, we now have to be “protected” from making the same ret ar ded mistakes they live by?

    Instead of forcing us all to pay an extra $3K, we pay an extra $250 to have these imbeciles sterilized? Stop the infestation of stupid and we won’t have any more of these “tragedies”.

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