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Back-up cameras could be required for all new 2014 vehicles   (Source:
The new rules, if finalized, would cost the auto industry $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion per year, but would save approximately 100 lives

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked Congress for an extension to finalize the new regulations that require automakers to improve rear visibility in all new models by 2014. 

The new regulations were supposed to be completed by today, but the NHTSA has requested more time in order to finish the new rules that are meant to save the lives of those involved in backup crashes.

The new regulations, which were proposed in December 2010, aim to eliminate blind spots in vehicles by improving overall visibility or adding backup cameras in all new vehicles by 2014. The proposal is meant to be a solution to the 300 fatalities associated with “backover” accidents that occur annually. It is also a response to the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Act, which is a 2008 law named after a young boy who was accidentally ran over by his father, and was meant to address such issues. 

Approximately 100 out of 300 fatal backovers consist of children ages five and under, and one-third of the deaths involve senior citizens who are 70 and older. Blind spots behind vehicles can make it hard to see pedestrians or cars approaching while backing up, and while automakers have already added video cameras and other detection sensors to vehicles, these devices are optional on many vehicles, and only about 20 percent of new models have such equipment.

"There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  

The new rules, if finalized, would cost the auto industry $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion per year. The regulation would add $159 to $203 in costs to each vehicle without a display screen (those with in-car navigation systems), and $58 to $88 to each vehicle with a display screen. 

According to a cost-benefit analysis conducted by the NHTSA, "the costs per life saved ranged from $11.3 million to $72.2 million - above its comprehensive cost estimate for a statistical life of $6.1 billion." 

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a trade group representing the Big Three automakers in Detroit as well as other auto companies, has stated that it needs more time to comply to the new regulations.  

"While the alliance supports the need for improvements in rearward visibility, the regulation as proposed involves a significant additional cost per vehicle," said the group earlier this month. 

But the NHTSA is pushing for the new rules regardless of cost, arguing that the cost automakers have to pay per vehicle is worth saving a life. So far, the plan proposes that 10 percent of the United States' new fleet will have to meet the new standards by 2012, while 40 percent will have to meet these standards by the 2013 model year, and then all new vehicles must comply by 2014.  

"The public comment period on this safety proposal only recently closed, and NHTSA has asked Congress for additional time to analyze public comments, complete the rule-making process and issue a final rule," said the NHTSA in a statement today.

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Rear cameras are a good idea
By arthur449 on 3/1/2011 7:37:18 AM , Rating: 1
Rear cameras for vehicles that already have an an in-dash LCD screen would cost mere pennies to implement considering how small and cheap low resolution video cameras have become.

Any significant increases in price due to this regulation are due to auto manufacturers desperately trying to trick people into thinking these features are worth 10 times more than they cost.

Other overpriced features: climate control - just how hard is it to monitor the current across a thermistor and turn the AC on/off? Variable intermittent wipers - Toyota still thinks that this is far too expensive for base models.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By FITCamaro on 3/1/2011 8:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
You realize that the vast majority of cars sold still don't have an in-dash LCD screen right? Even if its an available option.

You're probably talking another $100-150 then.

And like any product or service, if you don't think its worth the money, don't buy it. I don't. Now the difference is you don't have a choice. Daddy gubbament says you have to.

Seems like every month they give me a reason to not want to buy newer vehicles.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By bah12 on 3/1/2011 9:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like every month they give me a reason to not want to buy newer vehicles.

Don't get me wrong I'm usually right there with you on your anti-nanny state rants, but come on how does having a backup camera make a car LESS attractive? Emission controls, automated drive by wire stuff sure, but a camera...don't get too crazy for me to agree with you fit.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By vapore0n on 3/1/2011 10:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
Price. The cost of the new radio with big screen, camera, wiring, union job to install all of this, etc, will get passed on to the consumer by increased price or lower quality.

I can make a bet that lower quality will be the choice by the bean counters.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By Flunk on 3/1/2011 10:23:24 AM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with emission controls? They don't slow you down or inhibit you in any way.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By chick0n on 3/1/2011 11:21:48 AM , Rating: 1
Emission controls DO slow you down. Weight, restrictive muffling, etc.

Don't get me wrong I like some emission stuff cuz I hate cars with mid pipes shit smells really bad and bad for my brain.

but hey, nanny state said we need more and more. go green FTMFL !

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By FITCamaro on 3/1/2011 12:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
They lower fuel economy.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By Gzus666 on 3/1/2011 9:33:29 PM , Rating: 1
I like breathing, so I am OK with that. Maybe you can breath soot and smog, but I can't.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By FITCamaro on 3/1/2011 11:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes because every car that doesn't have emissions control systems billows ash and soot. A properly tuned car burns up the fuel. Cars without cats can still pass emissions tests if tuned well enough.

By FITCamaro on 3/1/2011 11:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
Also cats are worthless for people with short commutes because they don't have time to get up to temperature.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By DanNeely on 3/2/2011 1:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
They pass a test, but the test is based on the normal emissions levels from when the car was built. Not current standards. A car from 1970 is allowed to release ~1000x more smog producing exhaust than a 2010 model.

By FITCamaro on 3/2/2011 1:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
What's your point? If you want to pay to buy me a new engine when my car is 30 years old then fine. Otherwise, I like my engine. And even in Commifornia, if a car is from 1970, it doesn't have to pass emissions controls.

By FITCamaro on 3/1/2011 12:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's an added cost. And one more thing that can break. The main reason I'm against mandated tire pressure sensors is because I don't want to pay to replace the sensors when they go bad. I should have a choice in what kind of technology I want in my car. If I don't want something like that in my car, I shouldn't have to pay for it.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By lowsidex2 on 3/1/2011 10:51:16 AM , Rating: 2
Any significant increases in price due to this regulation are due to auto manufacturers desperately trying to trick people into thinking these features are worth 10 times more than they cost.

Airbags, passenger air bags, side curtain airbags, internal trunk release, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, roll over sensors, black box data recorders, automatic crash reporting, back up camera, etc, etc, etc....

Each incremental step saves lives, yes. But each incremental step adds to the cost of the car, adds to the cost of fixings that car, adds to the cost of insurance, etc, etc, etc. Government regulations will slowly cripple us all(not just with cars) while making headlines. 'Hey look at us, we're helping! But please don't pay attention that this will increase the cost of owning your vehicle by $2000 over it's life.'

On a side note.. I wonder how many people will side swipe stuff because they only looked at the camera and not over the shoulder to the left and right?

By arthur449 on 3/1/2011 6:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously this means they need to mandate side 'over-the-shoulder' cameras too.

RE: Rear cameras are a good idea
By ewhite06 on 3/2/2011 1:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I hate to admit it, Chevrolet has a great implementation of this. My sister's Chevy Equinox has a backup camera but she does not have a nav system, so no full screen in the dash. So the video image from the camera is displayed in the rear-view mirror - right where most people look when backing up. Yes it's kind of small but it and it's damn handy. Plus you don't have the added expense of a full nav/entertainment system (for those of use that refuse to buy one).

This might be around in other manufacturers but it was new to me.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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