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Judy Neiman with a picture of her daughter Sydnee  (Source: Yahoo News)
They suspect cost is the driving force

Even though the regulations for backup cameras in new vehicles is near, grieving parents and safety advocates want to know what the heck has taken so long.

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. 

Judy Neiman, 53, of West Richland, Washington, is just one of the many people who have experienced a tragic death due to driving a car in reverse without properly checking her surroundings before backing up. She accidentally backed over and killed her 9-year-old daughter, Sydnee.

"They have to do something, because I've read about it happening to other people. I read about it and I said, 'I would die if it happens to me,'" said Neiman. "Then it did happen to me."

The White House is doing something about it, but there have been several delays in regulating the use of these cameras. 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 the Department of Transportation (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. Parents and safety advocates blame worries regarding cost for the delays in safety. 

NHTSA estimated that adding backup cameras to every car would add $58 to $88 to the price of vehicles that have an existing dashboard display screens. It would cost $159 to $203 for those without them.

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

In the meantime, Neiman grieves over her lost child who had survived four open-heart surgeries like a champ, but was eventually killed due to her mistake. She couldn't see her 4-foot tall daughter behind her van when pulling out of the garage.

Source: Yahoo News

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proximity sensors
By MadMan007 on 12/27/2012 5:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Agree 100% with all the posters who say that proximity sensors are the way to go. They are cheaper (no screen required, not to mention the sensors and electronics), provide as useful if not more useful information (actual distance), and aren't a distraction.

I would find proximity sensors very useful in all newer vehicles which tend to have hard to see corners and high rears. They would be useful for a broader range of situations too, such as when parking in a tight spot where camera fisheye and image distortion don't help but knowing X# feet to obstacle does.

RE: proximity sensors
By mellomonk on 12/28/2012 2:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. And many automotive engineers agree. Sensors are far simpler and effective at getting the drivers attention. And far cheaper as well. In some applications they can be combined with advanced braking systems to even emergency stop the vehicle like in recent Infiniti crossovers. The best part is they are passive. They only make their presence known if something behind you is within range of being run over.

Unfortunately Secretary Ray LaHood has a hard on for back-up cameras. Time will tell.

To those screaming about 'Nanny State', I would agree if it was about your safety. If you do not want to wear your seatbelt or motorcycle helmet, who cares. They are your brains to bash out, but this is about the kid or dog that you don't see. Even the best driver can slip for a second and have to live with the burden of lose the rest of their lives.

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