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Government Requires Safer Vehicle Window Switches

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's a tragedy -- children hitting a car's power window switch and accidentally strangling themselves.

But it can be prevented. So now, the government is requiring automakers to install safer switches on power windows by 2008.

The advocacy group Kids and Cars estimates power window switches have killed at least 23 children since 1993.

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the change will prevent the tragedy of a child's head or limb being caught in a power window. He says that while these incidents don't happen often, there is a simple, inexpensive remedy and it should be standard practice.

The rule will outlaw toggle switches, which rock back and forth. Automakers can replace them with several different designs, including switches that are flush with the armrest and require the occupant to lift up to close the window.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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