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The rearview camera mandate would make it so every vehicle would have a backup camera for seeing behind the vehicle when in reverse

After many delays, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is ready to begin finalizing regulation for rearview cameras in all vehicles.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said he is meeting with White House officials to finalize the regulations by December 31.

We have a meeting with the White House about this in the next few days so I hope that they see the importance of this the way we do," LaHood said.

The rearview camera mandate would make it so every vehicle would have a backup camera for seeing behind the vehicle when in reverse. The idea was triggered by the 300 deaths and 16,000 injuries annually caused by a driver's inability to see behind their vehicle when backing up.

Many of the injuries and death affect young children and senior citizens.

The rearview camera regulations date back to 2007, when Congress initially approved legislation to set these standards by February 28, 2011. This date was delayed to February of this year, and again to December 31.

While DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are both behind the making of these new standards, others, namely automakers, have worried that the cost of installing these cameras on each vehicle would drive the price up too high.

However, over time, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has met with White House officials to discuss costs in the past in order to make it work.

Just last week, the White House finished its review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) proposal to mandate event data recorders (EDR) in all new vehicles. EDRs, also known as "black boxes," collect driver data such as speed, use of a seatbelt, whether brakes were applied, etc. before and after a vehicle crash. The idea behind them is to deploy better safety measures for vehicles as well as better overall vehicle design.

Source: The Detroit News

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By Dr of crap on 12/14/2012 8:26:58 AM , Rating: 3
I'd like a hot cocoa dispenser in the dash for when the temps get to cold!

I mean really, you CAN'T see behind your car or you can't twist your fat a$$ around and MAKE SURE you are not running over ANYTHING?

Not to be harsh but --- It's all about the drivers INABILITY to control and see his way when backing up!

Sorry for the 16,000 injuries, but do we REALLY need a camera?

Here's what is going to happen - These same people will now not look behind them at all, they will not check with their eyes first, they will just look at the camera ONLY, not be able to judge which is the right or left, turn the wheel the wrong way ( many mistake the gas for the brake just so you know), and be running into all kinds of things.

Unneeded and increased cost FORCED on to us!
Thank you big goverenment!

RE: And
By matcarfer on 12/14/2012 8:32:42 AM , Rating: 1
You couldnt be more wrong. Every step toward making cars more secure SO PEOPLE DONT GET RUN OVER BY ACCIDENT is a right step. I'm sure you were one of those who complained about airbags making the car expensive.

An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance. Happens all the time, its human nature.

RE: And
By hughlle on 12/14/2012 9:08:38 AM , Rating: 5
I have 2 side mirrors, a rear view mirror and the ability to turn my head to double check. If accidents happen with all of those features being used, who is to say they will not continue to happen just because it's a camera instead. Now folk will ignore all of their mirrors and just focus on the video screen, now we have the issue of them seing on the screen that all is clear but forgetting to check their mirrors and blind spots to notice the pushchair that is soon to be pushed into the cameras field. Waste of money imo.

RE: And
By 3minence on 12/14/2012 9:32:12 AM , Rating: 3
I've seen a number of fender-benders in parking lots, and almost all of them had the drivers looking at the rear view mirror only. They didn't look at the side mirrors or turn their head to look behind them.

If this rearward camera gives people a wider view than what a rear-view mirror gives then it might help the situation. That's a big if.

I've seen a couple of fender-benders where the driver was not looking behind them at all. Nothing is going to prevent that kind of accident.

RE: And
By othercents on 12/14/2012 10:46:04 AM , Rating: 5
There was a significant test done showing that in many vehicles you can't see anything below 4 foot tall that is a few feet behind the vehicle. These obstructions don't show up in either the rear view, side view mirrors, or by turning around and looking behind you (which is the recommended way of backing up).

Cameras are NOT the best option especially since they don't work so well when you are looking behind the vehicle (like you are supposed to be). I would rather have sensors and an audible beep to let me know something is back there and they are less expensive option. I guess cameras only work when you pre-check the camera before backing up, but doesn't work when you are actually backing up and something comes into the "danger area".

Some regulation is good, but this one is not cost effective and doesn't provide the same amount of protection as a less expensive set of sensors.

FYI. Other regulations include: use of safety glass, shoulder seat belts, air bags, blinkers, wipers, etc. They have all proven to have reduced the number of lives lost in accidents, however the unknown is how lazy of drivers we have become due to these advancements.

RE: And
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 1:46:23 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. Unless you also put a screen behind the driver so they can view it as well as look out the back window what good will the cameras be? If I am looking behind me I will not be able to see the screen.

As for not being able to see something less than 4 foot tall behind the vehicle, stop making them with the rear end stuck so high up into the air. This high beltline and rear end is more of a style thing than anything else. Sometimes what looks good isn't what functions well, just as with the current trend of making pickups so much taller, I can stand flatfooted and reach the floor of the bed on my 4x4 made in 96, but you can't do that with the new ones unless you are 7 feet tall now.

RE: And
By marvdmartian on 12/14/2012 3:27:40 PM , Rating: 3
Makes you wonder how much of that is the lousy design of the cars, and how much is the lousy habits of the drivers? Most people have no idea how to position their mirrors correctly, and even if they do use their mirrors, seldom bother to look around while backing.

I would imagine that the bloated looking crossover utility vehicles are especially prone to HUGE blind spots while backing up, followed closely by SUV's.

RE: And
By maugrimtr on 12/17/2012 9:33:51 AM , Rating: 1
Seems pretty simple - you cannot ever see that space just behind the vehicle. It's even worse if you drive anything larger than a mid-sized car. Adding a camera removes it as a blind spot altogether and it may help with poor car design where looking over your shoulder offers very little visual scope.

As for lazy drivers - they'll always be lazy stupid assholes. Worse, they always were. Adding new safety measures doesn't make people lazy, it just exposes how lazy they already were.

RE: And
By jjlj on 12/14/2012 2:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
I don't turn around when I back out. Never have and never will. I have always used my mirrors and have never backed into anything. I couldn't see out of the back window if I turned around anyways. That is not to say I don't look to the left and right to see if someone or something is coming.

I just purchased a car with navigation, backup camera, reverse park assist and cross traffic detection. I will glance at the screen but mainly use my mirrors. If someone or something is coming from the left or right a tone sounds and the dash tells me something is approaching from the left or right. It's pretty nice actually. Especially when you are parked next to a truck and you absolutely cannot see anything coming from the side. You have to back out and hope whatever is coming stops. With the cross traffic detection system I am alerted that something is coming so I can stop.

I find the camera especially useful when backing into a parking spot or parallel parking.

RE: And
By cubby1223 on 12/15/2012 1:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Now folk will ignore all of their mirrors and just focus on the video screen


Now that I have a new car with a backup camera, sometimes I find myself doing just this, and I know this is many times more unsafe than in my old vehicle without the camera.

RE: And
By MichaelR on 12/15/2012 6:35:39 AM , Rating: 2
Now folk will ignore all of their mirrors and just focus on the video screen

Or they can look at both the same time. There are mirrors available that have built-in video screens.

RE: And
By sorry dog on 12/15/2012 4:28:26 PM , Rating: 3
I'm trying to figure out who is a more idiotic political appointee, Ray Lahood or Joycelyn Elders. But at least she was a semi-honest idiot when she got fired for talking about jerking off and she didn't do any damage (except to Clinton's if that was ...La hood is trying to kill the new car market....back up cameras, cell phone blockers, black boxes, etc. He's a dangerous idiot.

RE: And
By mmp121 on 12/14/2012 9:23:04 AM , Rating: 1
Putting a rear view camera in cars does NOT make cars more secure. In fact it can cause 'tunnel vision'. The driver is only aware of the field of view of the camera. Turning your head will give the driver a much better field of view.

Also, this article mentions nothing about ultra sonic sensors, which actually may work better than the camera.

RE: And
By MadMan007 on 12/14/2012 9:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah this seems like too much. Not to mention that it requires a screen in every vehicle? Maybe the economy of scale will decrease that cost somewhat but I don't need or want to pay for a screen in my car (even if it's only $500) and all the complexity it adds.

A set of ultrasonic sensors would do just as well to warn of close objects and is much less complex. In some ways it is even better, it can give distances which would be pretty handy in tight maneuvers.

RE: And
By abraxas1 on 12/14/2012 10:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with the sensors being mandatory. That's got to be a lot more cost effective. Having that system in place would also make it easier to eventually tie it into the auto parking system.

Something should definitely be mandatory on the big SUVs and Trucks. Those things have HUGE blind spots about a foot from the bumper. I've got a 2001 Ford F150 4x4 and I have to be extremely cautious when backing out in the neighborhood when the kids are out or when in a crowded parking lot.

Unfortunately if cameras are the standard they'll probably be paired with those tiny little LCDs in the rear view mirror. I think the cameras are only truly useful if you pair it with a decent sized LCD. Typically the ones you find with the navigation systems.

RE: And
By V-Money on 12/14/2012 4:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
A set of ultrasonic sensors would do just as well to warn of close objects and is much less complex. In some ways it is even better, it can give distances which would be pretty handy in tight maneuvers.

I agree 100%. On my last car I had a backup camera and the sensors and the sensors are a lot more useful. I've never hit anything but I had come close a couple times when I first tried using the camera (I fogured, might as well use the technology), but when the beeping started (from the sensors) I rechecked the screen and realized that a 2d screen is a horrible idea because without depth you sometimes miss things. Since then I only use the screen as a supplement, its good for seeing things you might not see over your shoulder, but the sensors are much more useful as it doesn't distract you from looking.

RE: And
By GotThumbs on 12/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: And
By Stuka on 12/14/2012 10:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
It is not human nature, it is human ERROR. Nature cannot be changed, ERROR can be mitigated. If people were simply better instructed on how to drive, the accident rate would plummet.

People need to be taught the limits of a vehicle. They need to experience panic situations in a controlled environment. Every owner should have to take their new vehicle to the nearest race track and run it through the slalom, around the road course, wet skidpad, tach it up, slam on the brakes, etc. If you know your limits and the car's limits, you will be better equipped to deal with panic situations. Beyond that it becomes a matter of culture to instruct people on how to use the car as is intended.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. It is wrong to force the entire population to essentially pay a safety tax on each vehicle they purchase, when the problem could be nipped in the bud for free. This is the ugly side of socialism. I ain't havin' it.

RE: And
By Jeffk464 on 12/14/2012 10:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I drive a Tacoma prerunner and I really can't see that well behind. Its a little scary that a kid could be walking behind my truck and I wouldn't see them. That being said I prefer the sonar systems with audio warning because they still work when you turn your head around to backup.

RE: And
By theapparition on 12/14/2012 10:43:23 AM , Rating: 3
Not to be harsh but --- It's all about the drivers INABILITY to control and see his way when backing up!

This is the part of life when not everything is so clear cut black and white answer. Alas, we live in a world of greys.

I could easily place something behind your car that you can't see, despite using both side view mirrors and your rear view mirror. There are already many blind spots, and some vehicles are worse than others. And despite how careful you think you are, and what a conscientious and great driver you are, you can always miss something.

I view the backup camera as a tool for information. The more tools you have, the better. How can anyone who's rational argue against this?

Do we really live in a time of FEAR, when all we're concerned with is "what if someone only uses the backup camera". That shouldn't be a consideration. What should be, is the consumer gets all the tools necessary to help them make the best decisions. I can't guarantee that everyone will make the best decision, but it won't be because they don't have the best available info.

I think it's a good thing to have backup cameras, proximity sensors, rear view mirrors, etc. Most car models are being designed with them either as standard equipment, or as optional upgrades already. Just not a big deal.

RE: And
By FaaR on 12/14/2012 10:56:55 AM , Rating: 1
We can NOT mandate backup cameras, run you over with a car backing up, and then conclude that yes you were right.

Backup cameras were not neccessary!

One less waste of space on this planet.

RE: And
By ClownPuncher on 12/14/2012 11:47:30 AM , Rating: 3
But OMG the children!

RE: And
By theapparition on 12/14/2012 12:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
So it's OK children are usually the victims of backup accidents?

Kids are stupid. Not dumb stupid, but unwise. Wisdom only comes with age. They don't natively look both ways, hold scissors properly, or know how big a bite of hotdog to put in their mouth.

It's our job to protect our children until they are mature enough to make their own decisions, for better or worse. The law calls that 18, although some aren't ready, and others have been ready for years.

I'm not usually for government intervention, but advances like this are almost imperceptible in cost and give people more information. I just don't get all the vitriol on some things.

RE: And
By ClownPuncher on 12/14/2012 12:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be imperceptible in cost, not even in the progressive fantasy world some of you live in. If you want a back up camera, buy one and do your part. This has never been, and never should be something the government has control of. If it is a feature people want, they will buy it. No need to force the cost on those of us that actually LOOK before they do something.

Also, why would you be looking at the dashboard while you were backing up in the first place? Quit trying to correct for stupid.

RE: And
By ritualm on 12/14/2012 9:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
I mean really, you CAN'T see behind your car or you can't twist your fat a$$ around and MAKE SURE you are not running over ANYTHING?

You can't, because there are many obstructions WITHIN the car (rear seats, headrests, wipers, shades etc.) and OUTSIDE (trunk cover, bodywork, etc.) that prevent you from seeing what is really behind you.

Backup cameras are a start, but backup cameras combined with augmented reality tech and special AR-complementary material would be ideal.

RE: And
By Jeffk464 on 12/15/2012 10:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
How is this really adding that much to the cost of a new car. I bought a 22" 1080p computer lcd display for $130, so how much is a lower def 7" display really going to cost. The screen will also be used for everything else from stereo features, to hands free phone control, to navigation. The fact is these displays are pretty much becoming standard in every car anyways. This type of thing is much cheaper and less complicated than the other safety stuff in your car like ABS, air bags, and stability control.

RE: And
By Jeffk464 on 12/15/2012 11:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
I just installed a new kenwood in my 2005 Tacoma so that I can have the new features from bluetooth audio, pandora, hands free calling, HD radio, and with the bluetooth audio it plays the turn by turn directions from my android phone through the stereo. Anyways if I had really thought about it I should have bought a unit that has a backup cam. By the way all this stuff is really cheap when you aren't being gouged by the auto companies, I got all these features for $180.

RE: And
By Jaybus on 12/17/2012 4:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Ford F-150 with a camera, and I can say that it is very comforting to have the ability to see what is directly behind the truck. Without the camera, it is impossible to see anything shorter than 4 feet tall behind the truck, even turning your head, unless it is so far away that it doesn't matter. And this truck has side mirrors used for towing that are far superior to anything found on cars. Granted, it may be more useful for a truck than a car, but there are many cars that are difficult to see out of as well.

I have not found myself relying on just the camera. The camera really just replaces the windshield mounted mirror. I still feel the need to use the side mirrors, and of course looking out of the side windows to see laterally. But to see what is directly behind and within 20 feet of the truck, the camera is the only real option.

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