NHTSA Announces Backup Cameras Mandatory by May 2018

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Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a rule to require backup cameras mandatory by 2018 in cars sold in the United States. After years of debate and delays, the rule would require installation of rear-view cameras on all new light vehicles.

The mandatory backup cameras would begin phasing in with models built after May 1, 2016, and reach of all cars 100% by May 1, 2018. The ruling finally responds to consumer outcry to reduce the number of fatalities each year as a result of drivers accidentally backing over pedestrians.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”

With an estimated 200 people killed and 14,000 injured each year, the new regulation answers the outcry from consumer groups and families affected by these tragic accidents. Slightly less than half the victims are children under age 5. A government analysis revealed that installation of a backup camera could have saved 58-69 of these victims and will prevent numerous injuries once rear-view systems are installed in on-road vehicles.

Congress first passed legislation back in 2007 requiring adoption of rear-view visibility standards, and President George W. Bush signed the “Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2008.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable of victims of back-over accidents – our children and seniors.”

Under the new NHTSA backup camera mandatory ruling,  final in 60 days, vehicles would be required to give the driver a 10-foot by 20-foot view zone directly behind the camera.

Diana Rowe is a Denver-based freelance writer, with more than 16 years experience and hundreds of articles published both... More about Diana Rowe