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Department of Transportation Issues Rule Requiring Backup Cameras

Posted on Apr 04, 2014

The United States Transportation Department issued a rule Monday that will require rearview technology in all new cars and many light trucks - an effort to reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by backup accidents.

The final rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds and built after May 1, 2018, to meet the new rear-visibility standards. The rule includes buses and trucks; motorcycles and trailers are exempt.  The text of the rule can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1hVnOLo.

In 1993, the NHTSA sponsored several studies that noted the disproportionate effect of backup accidents on child victims. One report explored sensors and cameras as possible solutions, noting the accidents "involve slow closing speeds and, thus, may be preventable."

Backup accidents involving light vehicles cause an average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries a year, and victims often are children and the elderly, the government said. Children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of the deaths each year, while adults 70 years of age and older represent about 26 percent.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said the new rule, required in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, is expected to save between 13 to 15 lives per year and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries annually. Compliance will be phased in by manufacturers starting in May 2016, before it becomes mandatory two years later.

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William J. Ervin, Jr. (Joe)
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