Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Child's Life is Worth More Than $15

$15 is all it costs to equip an automatic transmission with a break transmission shift interlock device or BTSI. This is the device that prevents the car's gears from being shifted unless someone's foot is on the brake.

This is a very real danger that car manufacturers have known about for 30 years. If the key is in the ignition and turned to accessory mode, to turn on a radio, or DVD player, or even just to roll down a window, the gear shift can accidentally be knocked into neutral by a child or adult and roll away.

Sadly last weekend, one of my fellow Cafemom members lost her son when a neighbor got out of her Chevy Suburban and a child shifted the car into neutral. The car rolled down a slightly inclined driveway and pinned the child's brother against the house. We can all say that could never happen to us, but all it took was someone else's lapse in judgement and now a child is dead. One moment when the child's parents had gone inside, thinking their kids were safe because another adult was supposed to be watching them, but wasn't paying attention, and a mother had to watch her son take his last breath, helpless to save him.

For $15 a tragedy could have been prevented. We can't control what every individual does, but we can demand that car manufacturers install these simple safety devices on all cars. Most cars already have such a system, but not all. It's time for us to speak up and ask why not.

Thank you for reading! Please have some respect for the mother who lost her son and keep your negative comments to yourself!