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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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While Trying to Save Lives, U.S. Goes Broke
By paydirt on 12/14/2012 8:38:03 AM , Rating: 4
15 million cars are sold in the U.S. each year. If this raises the cost of cars by $500 (camera plus screen) to the consumer, then potentially saving 300 lives per year will cost $7.5 Billion per year. The camera does not prevent those deaths, so you may not even get the 300 lives.

By paydirt on 12/14/2012 8:40:49 AM , Rating: 3
$25 million per life.

RE: While Trying to Save Lives, U.S. Goes Broke
By theapparition on 12/14/2012 10:30:02 AM , Rating: 4
Cost to include this technology over all 15 million car sales is less than $50. Not $500.

And you're neglecting the number of cars that have already been designed with backup cameras. Many models either have this feature already, or it's an option.

All told, you're looking at a significantly smaller economic impact than you imply.

RE: While Trying to Save Lives, U.S. Goes Broke
By twhittet on 12/14/2012 1:09:56 PM , Rating: 3
So at $50, that's only $2.5million per life - if EVERY person is saved. Is there proof that people will be saved? What %? 10%? 50%? 99%? What if people use backup cameras as a crutch, and it results in more people dying from lazy drivers?

The ESC (electronic stability control) mandate that went in this year I highly agreed with - as the statistics were very convincing that lives would be saved. I am currently less convinced of the need for a backup camera "mandate".

By Etsp on 12/17/2012 10:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
While saving lives seems to be the most advertised benefit, I think there would also be a reduction in insurance claims as a result of this. My understanding is that most accidents don't involve pedestrians.

You would calculate that it costs us $2.5 million per life saved (in a world that this works perfectly in), but there are other economic benefits to this. Fewer impacts with inanimate objects when backing up (a MUCH more common occurrence) will probably save a significant chunk of that overall cost, if not cover it completely.

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