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All New Cars Required to Have a Backup Camera by 2018



The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency (NHTSA) announced a new rule today that will require all vehicles built from May 1, 2018 on to have a back-up camera. The rule applies to all road-legal vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

The announcement came a day before before a lawsuit against the government after years of delays.  NHTSA was under a heavy criticism for not acting sooner from safety advocates and families of children injured and killed in back-over accidents.

The move on Monday aims to reduce the average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries caused every year by back-up accidents. Many of the accidents involve children or seniors.

"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," NHTSA’s acting administrator David Friedman said in a statement.

Many cars today come with back-up cameras as either standard or optional equipment. When the driver puts the car in reverse, a display in the dashboard shows the image from a camera mounted at the rear of the car. Some cars show a simple video feed from the rear camera, while others overlay distance and trajectory lines, the latter of which indicates the path of the car depending on how the wheels are turned.

Automakers make considerable money by charging customers for options such as a backup camera.
"It’s my understanding that some companies made so much money on these options, they didn’t want the rule issued because then everybody would get it for a much cheaper price," said Joan Claybrook, former head of NHTSA and president emeritus of Public Citizen.

Congress passed a law requiring the Department of Transportation to come up with rules mandating rear-view cameras in 2008.

A lawsuit was scheduled to be heard Tuesday in a federal appeals court that sought to force the DOT to act on a law Congress passed with bipartisan support in 2008. The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was named after a 2-year-old who was killed when his father backed over him in 2002.

The rule requires a back-up camera to show a field of vision at least 10 feet wide directly behind the vehicle, going back a minimum of 20 feet. Safety advocate KidsAndCars.org and Sony both advocated 180 degree cameras be required, but automakers noted in comments to NHTSA that 130 degree cameras, supplemented by side view mirrors, would be adequate.

All New Cars Required to Have a Backup Camera by 2018 Reviewed by Brandon Oh on 10:08 PM Rating: 5

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