Rearview Camera Rule Finalized by U.S. Government

By | April 01, 2014
The U.S. Department of Transportation today finalized a rule that will effectively require all new vehicles to come standard with backup cameras by 2018. The new rule requiring "rear visibility technology" on all new vehicles will be phased in gradually over the next few years. Starting May 1, 2016, automakers will need to have rearview systems on 10 percent of the vehicles they build. This will increase to 40 percent for the next year, and up to 100 percent beginning May 1, 2018. According to the rule, new vehicles will have to give the driver a 10-foot by 20-foot view of the area directly behind the vehicle. The systems must also meet specific requirements for image size, response time, durability, and deactivation. The rearview camera rule applies to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks.
Congress made a push to get these rules underway in 2008 as a response to numerous incidents of parents accidentally backing over their children in vehicles. The government has delayed the rules several times over the years due to cost concerns. The government estimates that the rearview systems will cost between $43 to $142 per vehicle, depending on whether or not the car already has a display screen. On average, around 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year are caused by backover accidents. The government estimates that between 58 and 69 lives can be saved each year once every vehicle on the road is equipped with rearview cameras. The vast majority of new cars today come with rearview camera, at least as optional equipment. More and more, automakers are spreading this feature throughout their lineups. So much so, that by the time 2018 rolls around, all cars will have this feature anyway. The government estimates that 73 percent of light vehicles will already voluntarily have rear cameras by the deadline. Source: NHTSA, USA Today