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Back-up cameras could be required for all new 2014 vehicles   (Source: reviews.cnet.com)
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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My 2 cents
By The Raven on 3/1/2011 11:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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

...This sub-heading should be replaced with the following snippet from the body of the article. There is no point in mincing words...
quote:
The regulation would add $159 to $203 in costs to each vehicle without a display screen, and $58 to $88 to each vehicle with a display screen.


Furthermore...
quote:
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."

Factor in the cost of lives lost to idiots using the screen as a DVD player/GPS/visual touchscreen music selector, etc. (as these screens will invariably also be used for) and the numbers won't jive I'm sure.

We just had a venting of public opinion here on DT with the various myTouch and Sync (or whatever they are called) products being OFFERED by Ford, GM, etc. Most people seemed to think that it was just another shiny object for simpletons and sophisticates alike to get distracted by and kill someone.

Again I am making assumptions as to where this goes here (eventual addition of GPS, etc.) but imagine now that the gov't is MANDATING these devices.

These cameras are widely available as options on new cars and you can easily get them installed on used ones. Can't convince mom and dad to invest in the tech to potentially save their little ones' lives and have them installed voluntarily? Hmm... maybe it is because the chance is so slim that you'd better spend your money on shark attack or lightning strike insurance. So why are we mandating this? And if it is so important, why not mandate them on ALL cars? Not just new ones. Because it is about money I'm sure. The auto makers don't care. I know...I'm in the auto manufacturing industry. We will just pass on the expense to the customer. You've been had. We will be making another sale.

Instead of passing laws like this, we should be passing laws to prohibit this. I'll even take it back to seatbelt and helmet laws (not that I wouldn't refuse either if it was purely a choice instead of a law). This crap is rediculous.




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