For five years, safety advocates have been asking the federal government to make backup cameras mandatory on new vehicles. These safety groups were expecting a decision two and a half years ago, but that ruling has been delayed several times. Instead of mandating the cameras, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added backup cameras to its recommended features list Tuesday.
In 2008, congress passed a law requiring that NHTSA set rear visibility requirements by Feb. 28, 2011, but the requirements have been repeatedly delayed by the Department of Transportation. The rear visibility rule deadline has been pushed back to 2015.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement, “As we’ve seen with other features in the past, adding rearview video systems to our list of recommended safety features will encourage both automakers and consumers to consider more vehicles that offer this important technology. While adding this technology to our list of safety features is important, I remain committed to implementing the rear visibility rule as well.”
Making rearview cameras standard on new vehicles is estimated to add about $160 to $200 to the price of a new vehicle, The New York Times reports.
According to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit child safety advocacy group, 50 children are injured every week from vehicle backover accidents, and at least two children die from those injuries. The group says that more than 60 percent of backover incidents involved a large SUV, truck or van.
In response to the federal government’s recommendation, consumer groups filed a lawsuit against the DOT Wednesday. These groups, which include Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Kids and Cars and Consumers Union, are “filing the lawsuit requesting the government be forced to make the requirement” active now instead of waiting until 2015, Time reports.
CNN says the lawsuit “asks the court to direct the DOT to issue a mandatory rule within 90 days.”
Do you think the federal government should make backup cameras standard equipment on new vehicles?
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