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Back-up cameras to be required for cars?required

December 10, 2010
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month proposed a new auto safety regulation that essentially would require rearview back-up cameras in all new cars, pickups and SUVs by 2014.
Based on the proposal, drivers must be able to see directly behind the vehicle whenever the vehicle is shifted into reverse. The rule would be phased in over the next four years, starting with 10 percent of new cars sold expected to comply with the mandate by Sept. 2012; 40 percent by Sept. 2013 and 100 percent by Sept. 2014.
The rule was demanded by legislation passed in 2007, called the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The act was named after a 2-year-old boy who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him in the family's driveway.
"There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway, and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "The changes we are proposing will help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles, to make sure it is safe to back up."
Rear-view cameras are a common feature on new luxury vehicles, especially SUVs. They are available as options on many other vehicles as well, usually as part of an option package including other features such as navigation.
According to NHTSA, this "blind spot" regulation could save 95 to 112 lives per year, and prevent 7,000 to 8,000 or more injuries.
The agency estimates that the addition of rearview camera equipment would cost $159 to $203 on a car, or $88 to $158 on vehicles already equipped with some sort of display screen, such as one used for navigation.