I've written before, and expressed my approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's effort to require back-up cameras in all cars sold in the United States. Now NHTSA is back in the news because the agency is planning to send their final draft of that rule to Congress today. Whether Congress will have the nerve to fight the auto manufacturers and actually pass such a requirement. The manufacturers oppose it because it would raise the price of each auto.
This latest part of the story was reported in the Los Angeles Times. Here are excerpts:
By 2014, every new passenger car on the road will have a rearview camera, if federal regulators have their way.
The final draft of the rule, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to send to Congress on Wednesday, would require automakers to install the backup function.
And it’s not just to prevent curb-hopping and love-tapping. Each year, 228 people die after being struck by passenger vehicles going in reverse – including about two children a week, according to the New York Times. Accidents caused by drivers backing up also injure 17,000 people annually.
The mandate to build in cameras and viewing screens – first proposed in 2010 – could cost automakers between $160 and $200 for each car, or as much as $2.7 billion total each year.
The camera is currently standard on fewer than half of model-year 2012 vehicles.