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Backup camera regulations delayed again

The Obama administration announced this week that it is delaying rules that would mandate backup cameras for all new automobiles. The new delays will put off any regulations for backup cameras for another 18 months. The move will undoubtedly upset safety advocates who have been pushing for all new vehicles to come with backup cameras to increase safety.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sent letters to Congress yesterday noting that finalized requirements aren't expected until as late as January of 2015. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does plan to encourage automakers to install the cameras anyway before they are mandated to do so.

The recent delay marks the fifth time mandates have been pushed back and is considered a victory for automakers that have fought to prevent the mandate claiming that it's too expensive.

[Image Source: Car and Driver]

“It’s not going to get done before I leave. I’m leaving a week from Friday,” LaHood said in a Detroit News interview on Thursday. “This is an expensive rule and we just have to figure out ways to bring down the costs.”

In a letter to Congress, LaHood said, “This rulemaking is important to the department due to its focus on enhancing the safety of our children.”

Initially, the regulations requiring backup cameras were expected to be fully implemented by September 2014. Automotive manufacturers have resisted legislation because it will cost the automotive industry between $1.9 billion and $2.7 billion annually.
Backup cameras are available on many vehicles sold today as an option (some newer models -- like the new Honda CR-V and Accord -- include the feature standard).

Source: Detroit News

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Monitor in the front = trouble
By djdjohnson on 6/22/2013 4:06:05 AM , Rating: 2
Backup cameras encourage bad habits because they're in front of the driver, so if you use it you're getting a very narrow view of what is behind you. If something is even a little bit off to one side you just can't see it at all.

I learned my lesson the hard way shortly after I first got a backup camera when I nearly plowed into by a car in a parking garage that I couldn't see in my monitor, but would have been very obvious if I had taken the time to turn around and look. The driver wasn't going too fast -- she was just entirely outside the view of the camera, and I was completely in the wrong to try to back out when I did. I haven't relied on just the monitor ever since then.

If someone is going to use a backup camera, a far better solution is to put the monitor in the rear headliner so it forces drivers to actually turn around and look. I did this in my truck after my near-miss and am very grateful that I took the time to do so. It works so much better than a monitor in the front ever could because you've got at least a remote chance of your peripheral vision catching your attention. With a monitor in the front, there's absolutely no chance of that.

Monitors should be used to supplement turning around and looking, not a replacement for doing so.

Installation pictures of the monitor in the back headliner in my truck... (Scroll down to Step 3)

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