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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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Wow....
By Azzr34l on 3/2/2011 4:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm generally very conservative and like the government to stay out of my personal business, but this is one case I'd have to agree.

When it comes to auto safety, federal mandates have done us a whole lot of good. Think seat belts, air bags and other minimum crash test requirements.

It may only be 300 kids, but I bet if it was your kid, you'd have a different tune. So the cost is a whopping $150 on top of the $35K you're dropping? That adds up to an additional 3 cents per payment? Oh noes!!!!

It's pretty obvious most of you don't have kids, and that's probably a very, very good thing. I find the recurring comment of "know where your kids are before backing out" rather funny. If you had kids, you'd know they can be unpredictable at times. Accidents happen, as it were. What happens when your kids are at grandpa and grandma's house? Seniors account for 1/3rd of the accidents. How exactly are you going to force your "backing out" standards on them?

And finally, the comments about accidents occurring because of large SUVs? Paaaaaalease. There's blind spots behind EVERY car, truck and van. Plop a 3 year old behind your Prius and let me know if you can see him.

Regarding the non-human injury aspect of this. Sure, it will lessen backing out type fender benders and avoid insurance claims. But tell me, how exactly is that a bad thing for you? You either don't have to file a claim if you're the offender and risk your rates going up, or you have a lesser chance of getting hit if someone else has the camera.

Think for yourselves people. It helps.




RE: Wow....
By Warwulf on 3/2/2011 6:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
A few things come to mind:

1. Parenting: Teach your kids that being behind a car backing up is a bad idea. Seriously, it works. The other 200 million or so parents don't seem to have much trouble with it. Hell, it even worked for me.

2. Consequences: Realize that there are negative consequences for both lousy parenting and poor driving... and don't make the rest of us have to bear the burden of it.

3. Choice: If you want it, don't trust your kids, driving, etc... buy it. You can get one aftermarket now if you really want. I don't want it; I don't need it.


RE: Wow....
By Azzr34l on 3/2/2011 9:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
Love the passive aggressive tone. I'll play...

Even if you are parent of the century, I'm pretty sure your kid is going to make 1 or 2 mistakes at some point in their perfectly sculpted lives you've outlined for them. God forbid that mistake happens behind a car backing up.

The majority of kids killed by this type of accident are under 2 yrs old. Your kids must be prodigal gifts from god if at 9 months old they were able to understand it's dangerous to be behind a vehicle with someone in the drivers seat.

Get the facts before you neo-con, gun-toting, don't tread on me types post. This isn't a problem with teenagers, it's very young children, many of whom are barely able to communicate (if at all), let alone grasp the concept of "it's not safe to do this".


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