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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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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.

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