New Legislation Could Mandate Backup Cameras by 2014

Cadillac's new 2011 CTS Coupe has stunning visual appeal, but without its standard rearview camera, backing up would be nearly impossible. New government regulations could soon mandate rearview cameras to help reduce the number of injuries due to backup-related accidents.

"No matter how skilled a driver, you can't avoid hitting what you can't see" said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a press release this morning. "By increasing your field of vision, this rule will save lives."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that each year some 300 deaths and 18,000 injuries are directly attributable to back up accidents. The agency also reports that in some 70 percent of the accidents, family members are responsible. In its ongoing pursuit to reduce automotive related injuries and fatalities, the NTHSA is proposing that backup cameras be installed in all passenger vehicles by 2014.

Back up cameras have become more of a mainstream offering over the past several years, but are often bundled with other niceties that can quickly add big money to the bottom line of an automotive purchase. In 2010, roughly 20 percent of new vehicles have backup cameras installed, but the NHTSA proposal will slowly require all vehicles to adopt the technology.

Following a 60-day public comment period, NHTSA will likely move forward with the mandate. Under the proposed law, all vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds sold in the United States would be required to have back up cameras by 2014. The three-year roll out would require all auto manufacturers to build 10 percent of their vehicles with the technology for the 2012 model year, followed by 40 percent in 2013, and all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2014.

Although it's difficult to deny that the addition of back up cameras will help reduce such accidents, the additional cost associated with integrating the technology won't be welcomed by many. What are your opinions of the proposal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

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