NHTSA issues rearview camera rule for all new light vehicles

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – All new light vehicles will have to have rearview cameras from May 1, 2016 to May 1, 2018 to prevent back-over accidents and deaths, according to a rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Monday.

The requirement for automakers to install rearview cameras that give the driver a 10-foot-by-20-foot field of view directly behind the vehicle cover cars and light-duty trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds and made on or after May 1, 2018.

The NHTSA said the rule aims to curb the 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries caused by back-over crashes recorded each year. More than half of the accidents involved children under 5 or seniors 70 and above and occur usually in driveways or parking lots. NHTSA estimated that automakers can prevent between 13 and 15 deaths and as many as 1,300 injuries annually by installing rearview video systems that project the view onto a dash-mounted screen.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is not objecting to the new rule as carmakers are already providing rearview cameras. The group even petitioned the NHTSA on Monday to let them replace side-view mirrors with slim profile cameras that could expand side vision while increasing fuel efficiency by reducing drag.

NHTSA estimates the cost of installing a rearview camera at $45 per vehicle for vehicles covered by the new rule and between $132 and $142 for all other types of vehicles.

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