Backup Camera Supporters Urge Regulators to Finalize Vehicle Mandate
April 9, 2013 9:56 AM
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Secretary of Transportation repeatedly postponed making a decision on this legislation
Lawmakers in Washington have been considering a mandate that would force automakers to install rear view cameras in most all-new vehicles. Two members of Congress and parents of children injured (or killed) by inattentive drivers backing over them are now calling on regulators to finalize the regulations.
The advocates are urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to finalize regulations that have been
delayed four times
since 2011. Congress approved legislation in 2007 that was signed into law by President George W Bush requiring the government to set regulations for rear visibility by February 28, 2011.
However, that date has come and gone many times with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood repeatedly choosing to delay making a decision on the rule.
The NHTSA has proposed standards that would have required automakers to install backup cameras on all new vehicles by the year 2014. The regulation was expected to be in effect by September of 2014 and was estimated to cost the auto industry in the area of $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion annually. The regulation would also likely increase the purchase price of new vehicles.
NHTSA administrator David Strickland recently said that the ruling would happen "at some point in the near future." He did point out that the rule is still under review, commenting, "We are still working through a number of issues. It's a very important rule for the department… We want to make sure we get it right."
The backup camera regulations are intended to help eliminate the blind spots on vehicles that could obscure pedestrians, particularly the elderly and children, from the driver's view. The NHTSA says that about 100 children age 5 or under die each year in backup accidents and more than half of those are one year old or younger.
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Not everybody is perfect. Accidents can happen
4/9/2013 12:08:24 PM
IMO, some of these responses are just sad.
So anybody that ever backs into something is an idiot? inept? Because they can't somehow look back left, back center, and back right all at the same time, while also looking forward to make sure they don't clip something with the front of their car?
Fact of the matter is, most people get it right because there are such few accidents. But I'd bet their are a ton of close calls. And this has always been a problem, even in the 60s and 70s. Not just now. Should we go back to cars without airbags, anti-lock brakes, and even seatbelts?
But when something does happen, it's a terrible thing.
So basically, what a lot of people are saying here is that either somebody gets it right or they're an idiot. No inbetweens. No such thing as an "accident". No such thing as doing everything in your power not to back over somebody and yet, it still happened, somehow....
To the poster about an '11 durango, I have an '11 durango with the backup camera, and the think works awesome. I don't zone out. You need to learn how to use the tools available to you properly. I look left, I look right, but while moving my head from left to right and quickly glancing down the middle,I
glance at the camera. A backup camera isn't there for you to just lock eyes on it and stare at it all day. And not just the backup camera is great, but also the durango's rear cross path detection (not standard). Many times it has "helped" me by 'notifying' me that something is getting ready to cross behind me from a blind spot that I can't even see because a van or another suv is parked next to me.
There is NO visibility through the tailgate of most SUVs. Look all you want, you won't see a small child BEHIND you. And some cars, that are now more about form then function, they have blind spots that are just as bad as an suv or crossover. No doubt, some smart-@ss will comment that we're suppose to look before getting in. What happens in a parking lot that you've looked, it's clear, you get in, and then the car next to you, those people show up, and they are distracted and they are the idiots and they let a small child get behind you in that split second you were looking back left and missed the child to the back right? ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN.
I refuse to believe that all these perfect other posters get in their car, and they maintain a constant 360 vision around the car the complete time until they back out. None of them have ever gotten into a car, but then not left? Maybe they took a call? Maybe they smartly finished all their texting? Who knows. Am I really to believe these "perfect" non-idiot drivers maintained constant 360 vision while they finished texting? Or did they really get back out to look behind them? I doubt it. IMO, most of you are just lucky.
Of course, the government isn't forcing anybody to actually look at the camera, that's YOUR choice. The real hangup here is the cost. That's what it really boils down to. And for most SUVS where this really should only apply, with more and more cars including screens already on their dash, IMO, the cost is trivial. $50 at most for a camera?
If seatbelts were optional, and only cost $50, I wonder how many of these "perfect" drivers would pass using the flawed thinking that they'll never mess up or have an accident. But what happens if the OTHER person messes up?
IMO, many ignorant posters here that just "know-it-all" and they've never EVER made a mistake or had an accident. They are perfect in every sense. They have no flaws. They have 360 vision, and are just that good. They never make a mistake.
For the record, I am against this legislation applying to all cars. But I do think there should be some type of legislation and some type of test to determine vehicles with extreme poor visibility and those cars should have the requirement. Or at a minimum, maybe not the camera, but at least beeping backup sensors.
RE: Not everybody is perfect. Accidents can happen
4/9/2013 1:12:52 PM
airbags, ABS, stability control systems, and power steering are all good inventions and increases driving safety.
A back up camera has too many flaws.
Everyone admits that there's always a blind spots but you have enough visibility to drive safety in almost all vehicles. Only the vehicles that a cam is a big clunky thing like a suburban. But a good driver can go life time without a single accident.
Your arguments are as sad.
1. I suppose children just appear behind vehicles to get hit. If your kids love to play around moving vehicles then it's your fault as a parent. I never let any kids play around vehicles whether it's moving or not. They can damage the vehicle or they can get hit by it.
2. Even if there happens to be a kid or anything behind you, you need to glance around your car before you get in and drive. After you are sure there's nothing/nobody obstructing your path then keep awareness of your environment. Don't put on makeup, talk on the phone, text 20 people, and eat your burger. Keep awareness and slowly back out. Slow down near side walks. It's really that simple.
3. A back up camera is perfect for parking but terrible for accounting moving objects which you most complained about. If you stare at a screen and a kid/pet run behind your vehicle, then you won't see it until it's too late. But if you are aware of your environment and use peripherals and mirrors effectively, then you will detect them almost immediately and stop in time.
4. why are you looking in front to make sure you don't clip anything? You should be looking at your mirrors, rear and sides. You want to look at where your vehicle is going to avoid hitting stuff!!! You should already know how much you have to crank your wheel to avoid hitting anything from the front. Consumer vehicles usually have short overhang past the front wheels so you shouldn't not easily clip things unless you are a really bad driver. If you have to spend more than a split second glance to the front when backing up then you are a bad driver!.
This back up camera is another unnecessary driver aid. It will have a positive impact in the short term and then a negative impact over time because people will lose awareness and common sense when driving. It should stay optional for those who needs it but should not be mandatory.
The cellphone was a very positive invention. Look at all the problems it's causing. The dependencies and now traffic accidents and even psychological disorders.
RE: Not everybody is perfect. Accidents can happen
4/9/2013 1:14:14 PM
If it was a mere accident that isn't avoidable at all there wouldn't be only 100 deaths a year. It's true that it will inevitably happen. I mean Billions of backups are made a year, so your bound to catch a few kids here or there. But the fact is that there are a million different options to avoid it and if you miss them all then you are an idiot. First up paying attention to your surroundings when you get into the car. Are there kids playing in the yards near by? Yes then pay close attention, watch the mirrors while you prep before backing up. Pay special attention to the area the kids are playing at when looking in the mirror and when craned around. Watch for the slightest disturbance.
Between not thinking you own the area behind your car and parents taking in account of their kids while playing outside 99% of these issues would go away. People not cluttering up their yards with bushes and trees to look pretty will allow others to see your car is in reverse before you pull out. That gets rid of the other 1%. Now you are left with 1 death in like ten years where there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it that a camera might have prevented.
So yes the Stereo type would be that either the driver or the Parent screwed up an were idiots. Specially the parents because well they had the most precious thing in the world and lost it over whatever the hell they were doing that wasn't watching them. But you know what would be a lot easier than a law forcing everyone to spend an extra $200 a car to make up for at worst 300 people failing to do their responsibility a year? Telling people to back into the drive way and that way they are pulling out forward. It's 100x easier for people to see what your doing and the biggest worry is farther up in your driveway not at the sidewalk where anyone can be. But much like asking drivers to pay more attention to their surroundings and especially when kids are around, or asking parents to actually be parents to their youngsters that don't know better,it takes to much time away from a day filled with accomplishing nothing to put the extra seconds/minutes in.
RE: Not everybody is perfect. Accidents can happen
4/9/2013 6:59:50 PM
Scale is a problem people have difficulty with...
~700 people die a year from "back-up" accidents. 300 of them are "children" and 100 are "children under 5".
Even the postive leaning folks people say a backup camera would only save ~50% of these people, if installed on -all- cars. We are talking in the range of spending 10-80 million dollars per life saved depending on your assumptions.
Yet today hundreds/thousands of people die due to a variety of factors which would cost a lot less than 10 million a death to "solve", let alone the high estimates of 80 million.
On top of these, backup camera are already becoming a standard... why enforce through regulation a problem to go away. Unless the regulation has a sunset provision, we may be required to have rear view cameras on our transparent transport bubbles of the future.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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