NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) wants to make roads safer in the years ahead and proposed a legislation requiring automobile manufacturers to install backup cameras for all models manufactured after May 1, 2018.
The Department of Transportation and its NHTSA, managed to impose a new regulation for automobile manufacturers and distributors operating in North America. To prevent 15,000 injuries and 210 deaths estimated annually, the agency imposed car manufacturers and automotive distributors to equip all light vehicles manufactured after May 1, 2018 and sold in the US to have “rear visibility technology” as standard equipment.
NHTSA “rear visibility technology” – Applause and heavy Criticism
The backup cameras need to play digital images when driving backwards, the minimum area of coverage is 10×20 feet (3×6 meters). This will saved between 58 and 69 lives every year starting with 2018 by introduction this measure. The most vulnerable victims of backup accidents are children aged up to 5 years old and senior citizens, who have passed 70 years.
“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents—our children and seniors,” said 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.”
“We applaud the DOT for issuing the rule,” said Scott Michelman, an attorney with Public Citizen. “But it’s a bittersweet moment; by DOT’s own estimates, 200 people are killed and 15,000 are injured a year by backup crashes. You can do that math, three years late means a lot of folks were harmed by this delay.”
Initially, the change had to take place in 2015, but the government was persuaded to postpone the time of application for three years. NHTSA integrated since 2013 the scoring of reverse assist systems in their program of new cars safety evaluation. The increasingly stricter regulations led to the improvement of the safety level for cars as well as the CO2 emissions reduction.
“It’s my understanding that some companies made so much money on these options, they didn’t want the rule issued because then everybody would get it for a much cheaper price,” said Joan Claybrook, former head of NHTSA and president emeritus of Public Citizen.
The measure will apply to all self-propelled vehicles that weight up to 10,000 pounds (4500 kilograms), including cars, SUVs, trucks and vans.
Automakers won’t be able to provide low quality equipment, requirements will be introduced regulating the image size, resolution, response time of the screen, system’s sustainability and how to disable it.
According to NHTSA, the installation of such a system costs between $43 and $45 per vehicle if there already is an adequate screen onboard. If there is no such screen, the vehicle equipment installation costs the car manufacturer between $132 and $142.
Internal estimates of NHTSA expects that 73% of all new vehicles in this category will have backup cameras as standard before 2018. The market for providers of such systems can expect a significant increase, because Americans are buying 16 million vehicles per year fitting these specifications.
“NHTSA took time on this regulation to ensure that the policy was right and make the rule flexible and achievable,” the agency said in a statement. “In fact, at this point, many companies are installing rear visibility technology on their own, due to consumer demand.”