Feds set to require rearview cameras

Biggest Bass?
February 28, 2012
Bizzaro flounder (photo)
February 29, 2012

While it has been a long time coming, it appears that regulators are final ready to require rearview cameras in all vehicles, something that was proposed in 2010 for 2014 model year vehicles.

There is no reason to delay this life-saving measure. The technology has been available for more than a decade and the cost ($160-200) for adding it to a new vehicle is tiny by any measure.

rearview in-mirror camera

The automakers know that this feature is critical since they already have it as standard equipment in 45% of 2012 models and another 23% have it as an option, according to Edmunds.com. Aftermarket versions have been shown at SEMA for more than a decade.

Why do the cameras make sense: government statistics indicate that more than 220 people of all ages — about half under the age of 5 — die in backover accidents annually and about 17,000 a year are injured in such accidents. If that doesn’t sell you (and it should), consider how much easier it is to launch a boat when you have a rearview camera.

Edmunds now measures the size of the blind spot behind vehiclesto determine how far back the driver can see a dummy the size of a small child. Check those numbers at edmunds.com before you purchase any vehicle.

There is no reason to delay the regulation for rearview cameras any longer than the planned 2014 proposed date. This feature is integrated into most in-vehicle nav systems, an expensive alternative unless you are looking for the other features that it provides. Less expensive, though still effective, are the cameras that are integrated into rearview mirrors.

As to other ways of improving your rear visibility, the N.H.T.S.A. also tested beeping sensrs but found that they did not detect people, particularly children,in motion. It seems that we, as drivers, also respond better to the visual than the audible.

Do you have a rear backup camera? Has it ever prevent you from a problem, even if it’s backing into the garage door? Let me know so I can feature your story.

Any other thoughts about features that should be made standard? Let me know about those, too.

These are the same regulators that brought you seatbelts, airbags,protective head and knee features and a raft of other things that you never thought you needed but now take for granted.


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