• Feb 28, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
has asked Congress for more time to finalize new regualtions that would require automakers to install backup cameras in all cars by 2014. NHTSA announced the legislation in December, saying the move could save the lives of more than 100 people a year, mostly young children.

According to The Detroit News, NHTSA has informed Congress that it wants more time to finalize the rules, which were supposed to be ready today, since the public comment period has only been closed for a little while.

According to NHTSA, backup cameras could help prevent nearly 300 fatal backover-related accidents a year (of that total, around 100 are children younger than five and another third are elderly people).

NHTSA estimates that once the new regulations will cost the auto industry between $1.9 and $2.7 billion annually, once they go into effect. The cost per vehicle would be just shy of $159-$203 for cars without a pre-existing navigation screen, and $53-$88 for cars with a screen.

Interestingly, NHTSA estimates the industry-wide expense of the measure at between $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion, and it reportedly acknowledges that its own cost-benefit analysis standards indicate that the price tag of the regulation will far outstrip the cost associated with lives saved by the law. That is, NHTSA uses a working figure of the "comprehensive cost for a statistical life" at $6.1 million, but the costs per life saved by the backup camera legislation would likely tally somewhere between $11.3 to $72.2 million.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Damon Lavrinc/Autoblog/AOL]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Look! Safe to Move?"

      "He looks like he's already dead, so yes."

      But seriously, I really don't buy the cost per vehicle listed (too high), and I really, really don't buy that it will cost the auto industry anything because any additional cost is worked in to the price, one way or another.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thank Sean Connery.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why not mandate stricter driving tests instead?
      • 3 Years Ago
      USA: Love it or Leave it!.......where's my passport?
        • 3 Years Ago
        America: Love it, or fix it so you love it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      My elderly aunt was horribly crippled by a backing SUV. I have a strong emotional reason to support this. Never the less, this is useless legislation. Good drivers don't need them and bad drivers won't use them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just a thought - aren't LCD screens becoming cheaper? I know certain GM vehicles (the Lambda crossovers) come with optional rearview cameras and a screen built into the rearview mirror - without requiring the costly Nav system installed.

      I would think that'd be a much cheaper option than a Nav-based one, and it's in a place where people are looking already (the rearview mirror, not down at the console) to see what's behind them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think they should require children to play in large plastic hamster balls instead. Safer and cheaper for sure, and solves more than just this reversing over children issue.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd prefer the NHTSA start pushing amber rear turn signals and/or DRLs over this.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The day I find out I have a kid on the way will be the day I buy a backup camera or a car that has one. Especially with today's high beltlines, I want to be able to see what's directly behind my car. In kindergarten a friend of mine on a tricycle was backed over and killed. There's just no way to see something like that right behind any car with the mirrors or a glance over the shoulder. To me, that peace of mind is worth it. I don't think every car should have to have it, but within a decade most cars would have one anyway.
      • 3 Years Ago
      people are idiots. that's it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It should be mandated now what is a extra $100-300 on the sticker price plus it save you hundreds of thousands in liability.
      • 3 Years Ago
      First back-up camera for me and I have to say that after getting used to it, I absolutely love it. It's super, super handy, but mostly during parallel parking, I'm afraid. I will always have one from now on (assuming there's a choice in the matter) though. It is vastly superior to any sonar "beep-beep" system, in terms of utility.
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