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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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Not a bad idea
By Erudite on 12/14/2012 9:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure it should be necessary, but I do like the idea. There are times that even looking behind you won't help - for example if a small child has wandered behind the vehicle. You probably can't see them out the back window, and if they are behind you, you can't see them in the mirrors, either. But a backup camera would see them.

As for something wandering into the path of a vehicle that is backing up and has a camera in use (and the driver is not paying attention to the mirrors), the backup cameras that they put in vehicles are wide-angle. As long as the driver isn't backing up at a ridiculous speed, I don't think it's very likely they wouldn't be able to stop. Panic and accidentally press the accelerator instead? Maybe. People are dumb sometimes.

I suppose the long and short of it is that this will probably help, but won't fix the problem. Notwithstanding that any vehicles already in use (i.e. the majority of vehicles on the road) won't have this technology anyway, I'd say it will probably be another 15 years or more before even most of the vehicles on the road have backup cameras. Providing all of the new vehicles in the 2014 model year and later really do have them.

RE: Not a bad idea
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 1:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
It will probably be more than 15 years before I have one since I am still driving the vehicle I bought 16 years ago and the next one I buy will most likely be a newer but old used one instead of a new vehicle.

RE: Not a bad idea
By knutjb on 12/14/2012 11:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
The main problem is the bureaucrat who decided they know what is best for you without even asking. E15 gas, done! Mandate a blackbox, done! Camera, done! Up the CAFE standards, done!...

Look back at the late 80s when people in Audis were backing over, mostly young children, and blamed the car even though if you held the brake and pushed the gas the car didn't move but it was still Audis' fault. Funny, they were all automatics.

Unbeknownst to politicians and bureaucrats you can't fix stupid or bad behavior by fiat.

The market place is a much better place to do it, i.e. Infiniti has an automatic brake application sensor, Mercedes sold people on the safety benefits of air bags when they were extraordinarily expensive. We can go back to Henry Ford making the Model A with a steel body, no wood in the steering wheel, and safety glass in the late 1920s. No government to hold their hands or the customer's hands either. They saw a problem and sold people on the benefits.

If you want a good laugh look up Ralph Nader's idea of a safe car. BTW he killed the Corvair.

RE: Not a bad idea
By Jeffk464 on 12/15/2012 5:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ralph Nader was a key person in increasing car safety. Before him it was barely even a considered factor.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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