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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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You people shock me
By gcor on 11/27/2011 5:49:00 AM , Rating: 1
Your lack of compassion is obvious. No comment needed really, is there?

Calling people idiots because of a simple error? Like you never made a mistake, ever. In this case, a simple error has massive consequences for people's lives.

The average 2 year old is less than 3 foot tall. One of those little suckers can be jumping up and down behind many car models and you won't see them in any mirror, or window. So, was it all down to driver error?

Have you ever tried to explain to a 1 or 2 year old why they shouldn't stand behind a reversing car? How you ever tried to keep a toddler from going where it wants without locks and chains etc? What if it's not your toddler? For your sake, every time you reverse near shops, I hope every parent around you has welded one of their hands to their toddler's.

The technology in question is ridiculously cheap today. Because the bottom of the windows in my lifted 4x4 are higher than many sedans, I added a retail reversing camera that plugs into my GPS for $27. It worked so well, I chucked another into my camper trailer to help reversing in really tight spots. Cheap and, frankly, too easy. If I can do it retail for $27, then car companies can do it for far less today. Due to cameras being mandated and economies of scale kicking in even further, it'd have to cost way less than $10 per car. In a few years, you could be talking about cents per car. The reduction in fender benders alone would wipe out that kind of cost. Saving kids would be for free.

RE: You people shock me
By Reclaimer77 on 11/27/2011 11:40:39 AM , Rating: 1
You're a freaking idiot if you believe that any significant number of those 200 something yearly incidents would have been prevented by cameras. The problem isn't that people didn't see, it's that they didn't LOOK.

Also wtf is a 2 year old doing untended behind a car anyway? My sister has a 2 year old, my niece. She's NEVER out of her parents field of vision or untended while outdoors.

Don't hand me this collectivist compassionate crap. 200+ incidents out of 330 million people!? NON ISSUE.

If I can do it retail for $27...

Then EVERYONE can, so why do we need them mandated by law?

RE: You people shock me
By gcor on 11/28/2011 6:23:06 AM , Rating: 1
The problem isn't that people didn't see, it's that they didn't LOOK.

Sorry, but how did you know they didn't look?

...any significant number of those 200...

Even if one child is saved per year, I think it's probably worth it. Especially if the total cost of all cameras is less than the amount saved by a reduction in fender benders. I.e. at a societal, they are for free.

She's NEVER out of her parents field of vision or untended while outdoors.

I hate to break it to you, but your sister's kid does wind up out of her field of vision, because your sister cannot live her life with her eyes kept permanently on her child. Parents like her, and me, try our best to look after our kids, but little kids are incredibly senseless. Kid's first get mobility, but they don't get sense at the same time. They learn sense through trial and error. Provided the errors don't kill them that is. If a toddler decides to cross a highway to pick up the bright shiny thing, it will if it can.

So far my 4 and 5 years olds have made it through early childhood with only minor bumps and scrapes. In our last rental house, the landlord refused to allow us to put in child proof latches on the gates that opened along side the garage we had to reverse into or out of. In the long run, we fitted the latches regardless. But no matter how hard we've tried, the kids have wound up in crazy places they should never have been able to get to. Parents do their best, but kids are a handful and the world is a dangerous place for them. One small error can have huge consequences.

Don't hand me this collectivist compassionate crap. 200+ incidents out of 330 million people!? NON ISSUE.

Ask your sister if her daughter dying would be a non issue for her. In fact, ask yourself how you'd feel if your niece became pavement pizza.

Then EVERYONE can, so why do we need them mandated by law?

Like I tried to say, when cameras are mandated, the cost per car will come down hugely, due to economies of scale and being built in vs. post production.

Also, do you think wing mirrors and safety belts should be mandated or not? My mum and dad paid for after market ones of those back when I was a kid. Today we take them for granted, because they were mandated. How much do they cost? Wing mirrors are trivially cheap to manufacture. I'm guessing the majority of their cost is in the remote set up gadgetry to make them easier. Who even considers the cost of a simple mirror itself? I think reversing cameras will be the same, especially if they are mandated.

RE: You people shock me
By Reclaimer77 on 11/28/2011 1:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
LOL that's all you got? Lame Liberal talking point responses? Ask my sister, even if one life were saved, etc etc. Really?

You lose. Come back when you can offer more than emotional appeals. How old are you anyway?

RE: You people shock me
By gcor on 11/28/2011 5:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
Lame Liberal talking point responses?

Yeah, cause that's all I said.

My bad, thought I was having a discussion with a person interested in a rational discussion. So, yes, guess I lose.

Yawl take care now.

RE: You people shock me
By Reclaimer77 on 11/29/2011 1:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
"If one child a year is saved, (massive sweeping national regulations) are worth it."

Did you not say that? It's not hard to get where I'm coming from. Seriously, ONE life?

I find it comical that you believe I'm the one not being rational in this. You provide the reasoning of a fourth grader!

RE: You people shock me
By gcor on 11/29/2011 4:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, cause that was the only thing I said.

OK, let me try to say the same thing again in a different way. Perhaps it'll make more sense for you.

Mandated cameras could easily cost absolutely nothing to anybody, as reversing cameras would have a greater saving through a reduction in fender benders than the cost of fitting the cameras.

Here's a little equation for you that puts the idea in another way:

Camera_costs < Camera_savings

Camera_costs = Total cost of mandated cameras (including production costs and government time in enacting the law)

Camera_savings = Total savings through reduced fender benders (including reduced panel shop work and insurance premiums)

Hopefully that idea is clear enough for you at this stage.

Moving on to the next part of my suggestion...

Assuming I'm correct in guessing that mandated cameras are effectively for free, and it saves one life per year, then of course I'm all for it.

Aren't you?

Mind you, I'm pretty sure you're just happily trolling along at this stage and aren't really interested in the debate as such. Anyway, it's been fun, so thanks for all the laughs.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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