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home : news : news Friday, June 24, 2016

5/8/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Mrs. Pauly goes to Washington. Karen Pauly of DeWitt recently traveled to Washington, D.C. on behalf of and her son, Jack, who died April 17, 2011, in a back-over accident. is a non-profit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death of children in or around motor vehicles. Pauly journeyed to Capitol Hill to urge the Obama administration to release a rear-visibility rule for rearview cameras on motor vehicles, making it easier to see youngsters behind or beside vehicles. Contributed photo
Pauly champions cause all the way to Capitol Hill

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

At her young son's funeral, Karen Pauly of DeWitt vowed one day she would go to Washington, D.C., in an effort to prevent other families from having to suffer the same kind of loss.

April 10, Pauly made good on that promise when she and her sister, Stacie, traveled to Capitol Hill to implore the Obama administration to hear her story and make mandatory a measure that can spare parents everywhere the grief with which she and her family has lived for the past two years.

It was March 22 when representatives of (KAC) asked Pauly if she would go to Washington and promote making rearview cameras required standard equipment on motor vehicles to enable drivers to see anything or anyone in their paths whenever they back up.

According to statistics, every week in the United States, about 50 children are backed over by a vehicle. Forty-eight are treated in emergency rooms and at least two die.

April 17, 2011, at just 19 months old, Jack, Pauly's son with her husband, Pat, became one of the two.

Pauly was leaving her rural DeWitt home to run errands and the rear assist on her car did not detect Jack as he came up beside her car.

After being airlifted to Iowa City, Jack was pronounced dead.

Ever since, Pauly has worked closely with KAC, a non-profit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death of children in or around motor vehicles. KAC works to prevent sudden and tragic events through data collection, education and public awareness, product redesign, survivor advocacy and policy change.

Creating a new policy is exactly why Pauly, together with other parents of children killed in back over accidents, went to Washington, D.C..

With strong bipartisan support, Congress required a safety rule for rearview cameras in cars in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in Feb. 2008.

The rule is two years overdue and should have been issued by Feb. 2011.

Pauly didn't hesitate to book her trip to Washington. After landing, first she met with Bruce Braley in his office and the next morning, talked with other families who have experienced the same loss and then split up for more meetings with their respective representatives.

That afternoon, they gathered at Capitol Hill, after which Pauly did a live interview with CNN.

"I was nervous but didn't have much time to dwell on it," she relates. "I was really grateful to have the opportunity. Meeting other families was the best part. I have been in touch with all of them since that weekend. It was emotionally draining, but totally worth it."

Since she returned, Pauly has been in touch with local representatives urging them to contact the White House and ask them to look again at the rear-visibility standard.

In two weeks, Pauly also is scheduled to talk to members of a driver's education class about safety issues regarding kids and cars.

"I just want people to understand these things happen and it's our job to do what we can to keep kids safe," she says. "I went to D.C. to try to help other families so they don't have to go through this. Adding a camera to your car is one thing everyone can do to keep their own children - all children - safe. I plan to take action until the rule is passed."

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