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NHTSA pushes for the mandate to save lives while opponents such as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers reminds it of costs associated with implementing the rule

New regulations that require automakers to improve rear visibility in all new models by 2014 were proposed in December 2010, and now, the backup camera rule is part of the national debate about safety, federal regulations, and jobs.

The backup camera rule would require the installation of backup cameras in all new vehicles by 2014. It was proposed by President Barack Obama, and is 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's car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 292 people die from back-over accidents per year. By implementing the backup camera rule, half of those lives would be saved annually.

While the backup cameras could clearly be beneficial, the topic is up for debate because opponents say the requirement would be too costly and would result in job losses.

According to an August 30 letter the president sent to House Republican leaders, the backup camera mandate is in the top five list of the five most costly rules under consideration at this time.

The backup camera rule could cost as much as $2.7 billion, and would equate to about $18.5 million per life saved. Adding the cameras to vehicles would tack on an extra $58 to $203 per vehicle.

"Congress built flexibility into this law to balance safety and cost, and unfortunately NHTSA has ignored Congress by mandating an expensive, one-size-fits-all solution for rearview cameras," said Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

So far, individual automakers have not said anything negative about the rule despite these costs. In fact, Ford plans to have backup cameras in all Ford and Lincoln models by the end of this year.

The backup camera plan calls for 10 percent of the United States' new fleet to meet standards by 2012, 40 percent to meet the standards by 2013, and all new vehicles to comply by 2014.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Personal Responsibility
By JasonMick on 11/25/2011 12:15:40 PM , Rating: 4
Guess he will have to live with that.

I am constantly surprised by the crusading that goes on in the name of children by people who could have prevented a tragedy simply by taking a few seconds to be responsible.

Personally I think backup cameras are a major safety RISK.

When you back up, you should not rely solely on your mirrors unless you're in a vehicle without rear windows. In a normal vehicle you should be looking backwards and to the sides, scanning in all directions behind you. The backup camera forces you to look forwards and has a limited field of view, causing you to potentially lose sight of oncoming dangers from the sides. BIG SAFETY RISK.

Two potentially better solutions would be to:
a) Mount the backup camera view in a drop down screen that faces the driver when they're turned around.
b) Simply ad a sonar/IR sensor that detects low lying objects in the car's path and alerts.

B is probably the cheapest, best, and least visually distracting solution.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By StevoLincolnite on 11/25/2011 1:04:12 PM , Rating: 4
The backup camera forces you to look forwards and has a limited field of view, causing you to potentially lose sight of oncoming dangers from the sides. BIG SAFETY RISK.

Eyefinity backup cameras! *Runs to the patent office*

RE: Personal Responsibility
By dsx724 on 11/25/2011 4:42:04 PM , Rating: 1
If they want to implement camera, they should do it correctly and install a 180 rear panographic camera. The cost for parts should not exceed $80 ($10x3 CMOS sensors + $5 controller + $5 LCD driver + $50 16x9 LCD screen. The feature would be bad ass for those once in a while situations where you're backing out of a driveway.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By Mortando on 11/25/2011 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
b) Simply ad a sonar/IR sensor that detects low lying objects in the car's path and alerts.

I agree, I never understood the approach of encouraging someone to look *forward* while backing up and giving such a small field of view so you can't see things approaching from the sides. For vans & trucks sure, but not if you actually have a decent view out the back.

I have the 'sonar/IR sensor'-type and it gives the best of both worlds; you can look back and scan a wider area *and* you get a notice if something is below your FOV.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By Solandri on 11/26/2011 4:41:51 AM , Rating: 1
Not everything needs to be solved with cutting-edge technology. Just mount a fresnel lens on the rear window. Costs about $5. Doesn't have the problem of making people stop using their mirrors.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By misuspita on 11/26/2011 9:27:26 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but why spend 5$ when you could spend 150? Makes the economy turn faster :P

RE: Personal Responsibility
By Shadowself on 11/25/2011 1:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
Something about which Jason and I actually agree? Anyone check the current temperature in Hell?

Why can't people just turn around and look? I've been backing up that way for over 50 years. I've met a few young people who, when I saw them backing up, I asked why they were not turning around and looking out the rear window AS WELL AS checking all the mirrors. Their response was that it was not taught in driver's ed that way anymore. Turning all the way around and looking out the back window when backing up was supposedly thought to be too disorienting on the driver. What total BS.

People just need to take some responsibility and LOOK. Don't rely on technology to solve all problems for you.

What happens in 3-5 or 10 years when the backup camera does not work, or the display in the mirror fails? Will people take it in and get it fixed? No. The problem will just compound itself. People will have gotten used to relying on the display and then, without it, will just backup anyway!

RE: Personal Responsibility
By V-Money on 11/25/2011 1:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the IR would be a much better implementation. I have both a backup camera and IR on my car, and the IR has definitely saved me more times than the camera. I have to admit I do love having the backup camera though, because my rear visibility sucks so looking all around doesn't usually cut it. I still always look to the sides for other threats though.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By djdjohnson on 11/25/2011 1:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly why when I installed a camera/monitor in my truck, I installed the monitor in the headliner above the back window. It's ludicrous that car manufacturers are putting the screens in the front.

I can attest to the fact that putting displays in the front means drivers don't turn around. I've seen it plenty of times.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By macawvet on 11/25/2011 5:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yep-- I have ~$800 of damage to my car because I was looking at the camera and not behind me. Backed up into a garbage can the camera didn't see because of limited field of view. The IR sensors on the other car in the family would have warned me far better as they cover a wider angle and you still have to look backward.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By TSS on 11/25/2011 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 1
or, yknow, you could check the camera first, THEN check your mirrors, then turn your head completly around to visually back up.

Why is it assumed the person stares at the camera when backing up?

Let's ask the question nobody wants to ask then: How many of those deaths is because of stupid people not paying attention, and how many are "legitimate" deaths by smart, attentive people where a child was caught in a blind spot and was run over. Since nobody cares because "it was the drivers fault" if it was the driver not paying attention, lets ask that question and on the basis of that, make the decision to have to not have these cameras.

Why? Because they're a tool. To the smart, attentive people, it'll be an extra help and safety measure, added to the regular routine but not used exlusively (as in look at the camera, then look around to back up). To the stupid people not paying attention it won't help at all. And audio beep won't help either. An airhorn wouldn't even help because that would probably startle them and cause them to floor the gas. Aside from mounting a robot hand into the steering wheel that will bitchslap the driver when their not paying attention, nothing you do will help these drivers pay attention.

Oh and yes some people will start using these camera's blindly and not checking mirrors anymore. lazy falls under stupid when your operating a large movable object. My bet would be those people would stop checking the mirrors when they feel there's no need to with or without backup camera.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By jwin742 on 11/29/2011 3:50:26 AM , Rating: 2
The only time I've gotten CLOSE to being hit was when my friend was using the backup camera on his grandparents truck.
You don't look behind you when you use a backup camera so you end up missing anything that's not immediately behind you.

RE: Personal Responsibility
By VahnTitrio on 11/29/2011 10:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. I think part of driver's training should be backing up a trailer: there's no better way to learn how to be properly observant when backing up than when you have to back a trailer in.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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