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NHTSA Rule to Require Vehicle Backup Cameras

No one seems to be quibbling about the estimated $2.5 billion-plus that the government thinks it will cost to outfit future cars, trucks and minivans with camera capabilities that experts say will greatly drive down the number of deaths and personal injuries resulting from persons being struck by rear-moving vehicles.

In fact, groups ranging from government agencies and safety organizations to law enforcement, insurance analysts and even automakers themselves seem solidly on board with the idea.

Congress has been looking at the issue for several years after being asked to respond formally to an increasing number of car accidents in which people - most often, the young and elderly - were killed or seriously injured by drivers who simply could not see them while backing up.

The response is a rule proposal authored by the NHTSA, which will take formal effect next year after a public comment period. The rule will require 10 percent of model year 2012 vehicles - all cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans and everything else on the road that weighs less than five tons - to have a camera system installed that can detect objects up to 20 feet behind the vehicle and five feet to either side. Forty percent of vehicles must be duly outfitted by 2013, and all new vehicles by 2014.

The NHTSA estimates that the new requirement will save more than 100 lives and prevent over 7,000 injuries each year.

Related Resource: www.google.com "Rearview cameras could become more common in cars" December 3, 2010

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