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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Ultrasonic, not backup cameras
4/9/2013 4:39:58 PM
Personally I think these systems are a good idea. After all besides hurting someone, backing up a modern car into something will cause in some cases thousands of dollars of damages to yourself or others. For this reason, I picked the backup camera option on my new car. It's not something you should cheap out on.
However a backup camera isn't actually that useful as I discovered! In the winter, it constantly gets clogged with snow and the fishbowl perspective screws up your idea of where things are. It also discourages you to look back which is probably not safe. The ultrasonic sensors which came with the camera however are very nice. Basically they beep when they detect you coming too close. That encourages you to look when you backup and let's you know for the most part if something is in the way, or if you're not sure if it's too close. Ultrasonic sensors I would support. Backup camera no because it doesn't really work that well.
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