New cars will be required to have rearview cameras in 2018

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The federal government will require all new cars to have a rear-visibility camera starting in 2018. It's a directive that's taken years to happen, and it comes one day before a federal appeals court was to hear a case demanding it. One local family says, if it prevents the pain they felt nearly two years ago for another family, it's worth it.

"Me and my husband prayed for my son for three years. We didn't even get him that long," said Katherine Thompson.

When he was just shy of his third birthday, Benjamin Thompson was killed in his own driveway in Kansas City. His dad accidentally backed over him in a truck. Just seconds before, he had checked to make sure Benjamin was safe.

"I laid on top of him for 20 minutes, screaming my head off until paramedics ripped me off of him," Thompson said.

Now Benjamin's family celebrates birthdays and holidays with him in the cemetery.

Each year, at least 200 people are killed in "back-over" crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"You just can't see what's behind you, and you can't avoid hitting something that you don't see," said Amber Rollins from KidsandCars.org.

KidsandCars.org tries to educate people about the danger of these accidents.

In order to see this cone that represents a young toddler in the rear view mirror, for example, it's nearly impossible unless they're far behind the car.

That's why Kids and Cars has been trying for years to get rear-visibility cameras required for all cars, and finally, the government acted.

"Now with backup cameras we're actually going to be able to see what's behind us when we're backing up, and that's amazing," said Rollins.

It's a requirement that's too late to save Benjamin, who for now, is kept in a place close to his mother's heart.

"He was our light. He was my sunshine," Thompson said.

But it could save thousands of other little rays of sunshine in years to come.

The standard for rear visibility cameras will only be required for new cars starting in 2018.

However, if you want to retro-fit a car now with a rear-view camera, you can for a few hundred dollars.

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