About 100 children and over 200 adults die every year because drivers accidentally back over them. It's a sad statistic that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feels can be prevented if all new vehicles come standard with backup cameras.
The New York Times reports that NHTSA plans to announce this week that rearview cameras will be mandatory on all vehicles by 2014. The compulsory cameras and interface for viewing what the camera sees is estimated to set new car buyers back an additional $160 to $200, but the government feels the cost is worth it if it prevents some of the 17,000 Americans that are harmed in backup accidents every year.
Clarence Ditlow, director for the Washington-based Center for Auto Safety, tells The New York Times that while the government acknowledges that in terms of pure numbers, the cost of the program is high and the amount of lives saved is small compared to some other safety implementations. But those numbers look a lot more doable when considering how devastating roll-over deaths are to families. "When you have a parent that kills a child in an incident that's utterly avoidable, they don't ever forget it."
What do you think, should rearview cameras become legally required? Have your say in Comments.
UPDATE: Ward's Auto reports NHTSA has delayed submitting its recommendation to Congress, likely to hold more discussions to hear and address concerns from the auto industry.