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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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By sprockkets on 11/25/2011 12:25:11 PM , Rating: 4
I'd rather the NHTSA mandate HID or LED lights on all new vehicles. I'm tired of idiots doing it themselves when their halogen headlight optics can't handle the 2x light properly. Now that they are so cheap they are putting 4 in, and with 50w versions they blind everyone on the road.

Either that or they need to start enforcing the rule already in place that these are illegal.

RE: Well
By Iaiken on 11/25/2011 1:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not actually sure why you got rated down for this. It's well documented that using HID bulbs in a halogen headlight assembly results in excessive glare with no discernible increase in distance when compared to a proper HID assembly. In fact, in most cases visibility is decreased as the light is scattered in a 70-90 degree cone instead of projected in a 15 degree cone (see below).

This results in your car being less safe because not only can you not see as far, but you also blind approaching drivers and increase your likelihood of being in a head-on collision.

If you can't afford self-cleaning, auto-levelling headlight assemblies then you can't afford HID bulbs. Period.

RE: Well
By sprockkets on 11/26/2011 12:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
I like your pic - and the left and right car is just how mine looks, factory HID on a mazda3. I'll have to clean the lenses soon to keep the light from scattering around.

RE: Well
By Flunk on 11/25/2011 2:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
I find that even factory installed HID lighting systems can create a lot of glare. I would personally prefer that no cars had them at all and I think that a lot of other people who drive low cars would agree with them, they're a road hazard.

RE: Well
By sprockkets on 11/25/2011 10:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen 1st gen cars and trucks with them, those that do not put them low enough or those dang acura's, those are a problem.

All the extra light is simply spread out really, or at least when done right.

Why not post some that you find annoying?

RE: Well
By Masospaghetti on 11/27/2011 12:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
NHTSA should not mandate HID systems, personally I think new halogens provide great visibility. The H9 and 9011/9012 styles provide about 2000 lumens - or about double that of a halogen installation 10 years ago, or about 3x the light output of a sealed beam halogen.

Those who install dangerous light systems in their car and are obviously blinding other drivers should get harsher punishment. Again, don't cap my choices because someone else is an idiot.

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