The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has again delayed adoption of rear visibility rules that would require backup cameras in all passenger vehicles sold in the US. It's the fourth delay in a string of setbacks dating to 2007. That's the year Congress passed legislation intended to improve rear visibility in new vehicles.

NHTSA legislation had previously required automakers outfit at least 10 percent of their cars with backup cameras by 2012, 40 percent by 2013 and 100 percent by 2014. Those deadlines will likely be changed now. Delays have been blamed largely on automakers' arguments that the new requirements will be too costly. Estimates suggest that MSRPs on vehicles already outfitted with display screens would need to increase an estimated $58-88, while models without would see price bumps of between $159 and $203.

The agency estimates that the new regulations could have cost the industry between $700 million and $1.6 billion by 2014. According to The Detroit News, "NHTSA uses a statistical figure of $6.1 million as the value of a human life and says under a best-case scenario, the proposal will cost between $11.8 million and $19.7 million per life saved."

The government agency has not yet announced if or when a new deadline will be set.


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  • 61 Comments
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      It must be awesome working in the Federal Government. Deadlines mean nothing. No accountability ever. No fear of ever getting fired................
      Chadzter
      • 1 Year Ago
      How if we required everyone to learn to drive first! If you want a reverse camera then you can pay for it yourself, that is what is called an option. Second, there is no point to putting a backup camera on something like a Mazda Miata. If you need a backup camera in that call, then get out of the car and never drive it again.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am not able to adequately express how much I loathe the concept some people seem to have that a life is worth ANY COST. It isn't. There is ALWAYS a point at which the cost to achieve a gain is outweighed by the costs involved in achieving that gain, no matter what gain is being discussed. The cost/benefit analysis must ALWAYS be considered. This is a gain that is completely not worth the cost, and these systems should not be made mandatory. TONS of people are already buying backup camera systems, because they are a useful technology, and they are willing to pay for the extra functionality. But those of us who do not want them should not be forced into further costs and complexitys for an unneccesary technology. I drive 25,000+ miles a year. I back out of parking places at least 4 times a day on average, in areas rife with pets and small children, and in more than 10 years of driving I have never backed over or into anything. I shouldn't be forced into paying for a technology that I am likely to NEVER need.
      jcwconsult
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have NO problem with the cameras as an OPTIONAL item. People that want them can buy them. But the insanely long list of mandatory equipment has driven new car prices several thousand dollars higher, often for things people cannot afford and are not willing to pay for voluntarily. This should NOT become required equipment. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association
      Klep
      • 1 Year Ago
      While this move would make sense in principle, I wonder how many lives/injuries it would save. I'm guessing the kind of people who currently would reverse without checking behind them would still find a way to mash the gas without properly checking their camera's screen.
      tylermars.design
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who is estimating those prices? $200 for a camera and screen in a car at MSRP? lol that is hilarious.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tylermars.design
        Which way are you questioning price? That is should be higher or that 200 is overstated?
      Yoshi
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many people are backed over a year?
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      More regulations. More weight. More cost. At some point NHTSA needs to let the consumer and the market decide what they want on their vehicles. If I am shopping for a vehicle I skip those with poor visibility. Even a back up camera cannot replace proper sight lines. Cars keep getting more expensive with more things to eventually break down. Mandating cameras in cars doesn't mean people will use them. A bad driver is a bad driver. I am truly fed up with all of the regs.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        More weight? lol. yes, since a tiny camera, a wire, and a screen integrated into a rearview mirror that's already there is adding weight. Your adding more weight when you go to the grocery store. As far as cost, meh. Is the difference between a car costing you 25,300 and 25,500 going to be the deal breaker for you? If so, you probably have more pressing financial needs than a brand new vehicle.
      phishbowl24
      • 1 Year Ago
      This may be the most overbearing, useless and expensive mandate I have ever heard of. How many people could possibly be saved by this? how much will it add to the cost of a base model car? I could maybe imagine this being a requirement on large commercial vehicles, but on passenger vehicles, this technology is unnecessary on all but the worst blind spotted vehicles. FAIL
        Klep
        • 1 Year Ago
        @phishbowl24
        "how much will it add to the cost of a base model car?" It's amazing what can be learned by reading the article before commenting on it.
      Andre Neves
      • 1 Year Ago
      NHTSA needs to STFU
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well it's good to know how much a life is worth... :-\ $200 on a $20,000 vehicle is pocket change.
        Lingenfelter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        200 dollars that nobody truly needs to spend. You can try to justify any reduction in injury or death but we'd all be broke from safeguarding everything from pencils to jet airliners. The simple truth is, some accidents will always happen, and some people will always be careless. The best defense against incident is caution and due care in operating your vehicle.
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        Anyway, it should be required on all trucks, SUV's, minivans, and any other vehicles deemed to have poor rear visibility. You don't really need this on the average sedan.
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bernard
          Have you sat in any of those swoopy new midsize sedans, or high-decked full-sized sedans, or a Camaro? You missed a few while you were generalizing...
      Sergio526
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't have a backup camera, but I would gladly pay the $58-$203 to be able to see around the gigantic monstrosities that always park next to me before I back out of a parking spot. Currently I always have to back out blind until I can see down the row which is usually about 50% of my car!
        Lingenfelter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sergio526
        Not to be obtuse, but parking lots have been in existence for a considerable length of time: a combination of reversing into your parking spot and common courtesy from other drivers (such as stopping when seeing a driver reversing out of / into their parking spot) make this a nonissue in my opinion.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Lingenfelter
          Common courtesy from other drivers? Good luck with that.
        That Guy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sergio526
        You can do that now, it's called an OPTION. Some of us who know how to drive would rather save the hundreds of dollars for this gimmick and put it towards something else.
          Sergio526
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          Exactly what EXP Jawa said. A little fisheye camera would be much appreciated. On my current car, the regular straight-back camera was a $4,000 option because it came with Navigation, XM, HID headlights, Leather seats, Dual Zone climate control, and a bunch of other crap I didn't want.
          EXP Jawa
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          Matt, I think you're missing his point. He isn't talking about seeing directly behind him, but rather to the sides of what's behind him. That's a view that's often blocked when backing out of a parking space at the grocery store or whatever, when you have an SUV on one side of your car and a full size pick up on the other. In a lot of situations (even when we know how to drive), you have no choice but to back out slowly until you can actually see past the end of the monstrosity to the side.
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