U.S. Agency Postpones Rearview Camera Rule for New Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has postponed a rule that would require rearview back-up cameras for all new vehicles by 2014.
The rule was expected to be announced today, but the NHTSA said the matter needs further study, at least until the end of the year.
“The Department remains committed to improving rearview visibility for the nation’s fleet and we expect to complete our work and issue a final rule by December 31, 2012,” the agency said in a statement.
New vehicles would be required to have drivers see directly behind the vehicle whenever the vehicle is shifted into reverse, requiring video cameras to overcome blind spots.
Consumer and safety advocates say rear back-up cameras are especially needed in trucks and SUVs that can harbor larger blind spots than standard sedans.
The regulation was proposed in 2010 following the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. It was named after a 2-year-old boy who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him in the family’s driveway.
Ami Gadhia, the Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union, said the announcement of the postponement is disappointing.
“We have long championed a rule to improve visibility in and around cars,” Gadhia said. “We’re disappointed the government did not take final action today to address this problem, but we understand they are still on a path forward to issuing a rule this year. We hope that day comes as soon as possible so that rear visibility for all vehicles is improved and needless deaths and injuries are reduced.”
The NHTSA estimates that, on average, 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur each year as a result of back-over crashes involving all vehicles.

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