Once again, the federal mandate for backup cameras has been delayed. According to Automotive News, the rule requiring backup cameras in new cars is being pushed back to 2015, reportedly because regulators are now considering giving safety rating incentives to vehicles equipped with this new technology.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who will be stepping down from his role once a successor is confirmed, said that more analysis of the rule's cost to the auto industry as a whole is necessary before the mandate is officially issued, Automotive News reports. NHTSA has said that that the cost would be roughly $2.7 billion, or as much as $18 million per life saved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delayed its backup camera rules earlier this year (on top of several other setbacks), even though the original plan was to require automakers to outfit at least 10 percent of their cars with this technology by 2012. From there, that number was scheduled to rise to 40 percent by 2013 and 100 percent by 2014.


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  • 99 Comments
      Danny Buck
      • 1 Year Ago
      Personally, I think it's a pretty good idea. As trunk lids sit ever higher and rear windows become increasingly smaller, it is impossible to see directly behind a vehicle, especially when backing. UPS has been using them in their vehicles for well over 10 years and I assure you, UPS doesn't like expensive technology. I think you might find that the cost of installing a rearview camera is significantly less expensive than the "Technology Package" that automakers are charing people for.
        jay4e
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Danny Buck
        so this will be great if we keep pushing our car designs toward UPS truck levels of visibility. personally i would rather see a mandate on rear window visibility in class D vehicles.
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't think that mandating backup cameras by themselves will do much good; the type of person who doesn't look behind themselves now by turning or using the mirrors probably won't pay much attention to the camera either. Now something like that pedestrian avoidance system Volvo has, only pointed backwards, might actually be effective at stopping these sorts of accidents, though of course that would cost more than a simple camera. Of course, I would wager that even without any government rules, nearly all cars will have backup cameras in five to ten years as standard equipment - screen prices keep dropping, and soon digital dashes will be cheaper than analog gauges. Once you have a screen up front, adding a camera to the back is a trivial cost, and competition will make backup cameras as common as power windows are now.
        kevsflanagan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dreadcthulhu01
        I've driven a few Volvo's at my work and their back up sensors are great. Very loud and do pick up people. Bonus is they have two sounds if you get front and rear sensors.
      Rich
      • 1 Year Ago
      My car, my responsibility. I dont want a backup camera, I was auto-manufactureres to start putting large window back in cars.
      Eduardo Maal
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is so effing stupid. Not all cars need backup cameras.
      antacid
      • 1 Year Ago
      if they did this they would lose their ability to charge an extra $3k for a damn GPS, it would move the market forward and force them to do something new for their overpriced optional extras
      diffrunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think mirrors should be replaced by a rear view screen, Viewability would be greatly enhanced.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @diffrunt
        [blocked]
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          Agreed- the Honda Accord's blind spot monitoring is really great.
      J W
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've worked for auto dealers for the past 11 years, all back up cameras do is give the driver a false sense of security. The amount of cars I see with damaged rear bumpers and backup cameras is astonishing. Learn the size of your car and use your mirrors.
        Joe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J W
        Amen brother.
        SpikedLemon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J W
        Those are the people that rely entirely on the cameras and don't actually bother to look for themselves.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J W
        I remember a conversation I had with a salesman demonstrating a back-up camera system. He described an incident where the driver was so focused on the camera to fit into a tight space, he nearly took off the mirror on a post because the camera doesn't show that. Cameras can be good, but they are not a cure-all. I do believe that the more nanny features that are added, the less people will rely on common sense.
        A W
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J W
        Lol, all of these comments are hilarious. It's too bad no one ran over your ignorant and arrogant asses with their cars. Unless you have x-ray vision, you don't know what's back there without actually seeing what's back there. You can only assume. Don't even get started on the size of a vehicle when you guys can't even grasp the concept of physically being unable to see children or people behind your car. Do you guys even drive around people or do you all live out in the middle of no where? LOL
          • 1 Year Ago
          @A W
          [blocked]
          nassau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @A W
          You must be a government regulator. No civilian would make the replies as you do.
          Kip
          • 1 Year Ago
          @A W
          Try this on for size: If you know you're in a place where there are children, people, animals, etc., you check behind the vehicle before you get in the car. You also check around the car to see what or who might get behind you. Then, you pay attention. You watch your mirrors. You look out your windows. You look behind you as you back up. You know, scan your surroundings as you operate the vehicle. At that point, if there was nothing behind you before and you've paid attention to the things around you, you still know there's nothing behind you. The risk with the back up cameras is that people will use them as their sole means of watching their surroundings. In that scenario, when the child you seem so worried about runs behind you, you'll see him last minute and maybe save him with a panic stop. If people were actually paying attention to their surroundings, no panic stop will be needed because you saw the kid coming.
      SneakATax
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't see how any sane person could possibly support this poppycock. Actually...with all the BS crash standards and related design trends in the auto industry, this isn't all that outlandish. Its impossible to see out of modern cars. I believe that cars of today are truly unsafe at any speed. I value visibility over damage control. Go ahead autoblog, do your best. Call me names for desiring to see out of my automobile.
      herrstreet
      • 1 Year Ago
      With all due respect to everyone who is equating backup camera costs vs. lives saved and in deference to all the incredible, macho professional race drivers who are absolutely above having such a socialist device on their trunklid... GET A LIFE. First of all, it's a webcam. Do you know how much money a webcam costs? Go to Best Buy - or if that's not a good enough utilization of your superior driving - look on Amazon. All these damn things are are webcams that connect to the LCD screens that are commonplace in Kia's at this point. The ONLY thing that would result from all this is that the tech would become ubiquitous and cheap. I was lucky enough to get a car that has both sensors for parking and a camera and I think they are fantastic tools for parallel parking and backing out of my driveway. Honestly people in forums need to quit trying to pose so damn hard and think stuff over. Is anyone trying to have their traction control and ABS deleted from their car to saved a hundred bucks?
        domingorobusto
        • 1 Year Ago
        @herrstreet
        Yes, if I could have gotten my car $500 cheaper because they didn't have to include traction control, I completely would have. It's an essentially useless feature if you know how to drive. ABS is far more useful as it offers perfromance superior to any human's abilities, but I still don't believe it should be mandatory. Just as I don't believe seatbelts should be mandatory, or airbags. All of these are useful technologies, and will sell though natural market progression, as has obviously happened. But they, like backup cameras and sensors, should in no way be mandatory to legally adult drivers. For instance, does an econobox with 100 hp need traction control? Of course it doesn't. I could see the case for making minor drivers utilize these technologies until they become legal adults. But once they are adults they can make their own decisions regarding their own personal safety. I for one would be more than willing to buy a car without a single airbag, traction control, or a backup warning system, because in my opinion, they are nothing but unnecessary weight, complication, and cost. But if you find them valuable and are willing to spend more for their added utility TO YOU, I have zero problem with that. I just don't want to have to spend a bunch of money and make my car that much harder and more expensive to maintain for a technology that offers no benefit to me. The problem here isn't the technology, but the mandate.
          Andrew B
          • 1 Year Ago
          @domingorobusto
          So if you got into an accident and you hurt yourself, who is paying your bills? No insurance company would EVER pay out to someone who isn't using a seatbelt. I understand if you disagree with the backup camera, etc. But you totally lost me at seatbelts and airbags. They save lives. Your "human" ability only accounts for so much in a situation. Sure, you may think you have incredible driving abilities and are invincible, however all it takes is one idiot to hit you. Seatbelts and airbags save lives.
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @herrstreet
        Theres a lot more to it than that, we just have one go out in a customers Ram truck.... $400+ later and its working again. If youre an inattentive driver these are for you but they're not a replacement for mirrors and knowing your surroundings. I have never once backed into anything or anyone (keep in mind, I'm a sales consultant at a dealer so reversing 20+ cars a day is common) and while I don't mind them I would rather leave that $500 option unchecked when I buy a vehicle.
        Bobby Woodlawn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @herrstreet
        First thing I do when I start my Volvo is turn off the traction control.
        jay4e
        • 1 Year Ago
        @herrstreet
        the screen wiring and software cost a lot more than the camera... to put these in every car means you need a dash screen in ever car, which does not mean much to your average $30k car. but it likely means a 10-20% jump in price on your $12-15k cars.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jay4e
          Why do people keep saying you need a dash screen? Goes to show how many people against backup cameras don't know much about them. A LOT of them, especially in trucks, are just a small screen in the rear view mirror that you don't even see when you're not in reverse.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jay4e
          Also, it's not going to add $3000 to the price of a vehicle. It's only a few hundred dollar option now on vehicles that have it available.
      • 1 Year Ago
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        WheelMcCoy
        • 1 Year Ago
        Having the government determine what kind of cars needs a back up camera opens up a can of red-tape worms. A big truck or SUV versus a Honda Civic is obvious. However, there are vehicles in between, and there will be legal arguments why one model doesn't need one and another does. Thus, a sweeping requirement is actually a less expensive and confusing than a selective law.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @WheelMcCoy
          [blocked]
          WheelMcCoy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @WheelMcCoy
          A miata with the top open has no blind spots. A miata with the top closed has significant blind spots. You also give too much credit to the CEOs.
        • 1 Year Ago
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        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yes a Civic has better visibility, but when you are backing up out of a steep driveway , your visibility is just as bad as an SUV because you are nosed down, and your rear view is pointed at the sky. The back up camera costs so little that they might as well mandate it everywhere.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        So in a Sonic you could see a kid who's crawling directly behind the vehicle.....interesting.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mandating them is the wrong way to go. Let the market decide. If consumers want the cameras then they will demand them and ask for them and pay for them.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        [blocked]
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        This is not how the automotive complex works... there is no "choice" for consumers within a brand. If Nissan/Honda/BMW/Skoda make it... its going to be on the car whether you like it or not.
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Doing the math myself, I believe the $18 million per life saved is reasonably accurate. I'm not against saving lives, but I believe that money can be spent better on other things. Also, I believe that these fatalities can be prevented in other ways besides mandating cameras, for example, checking behind your car before getting into it. I would much prefer that car makers be motivated to use larger windows that improve visibility. I believe it is better to fix bad designs rather than inventing new devices that bring their own problems to mitigate the problems of a bad design.
        MTTS
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Greg
        Agreed, I would have loved to have had a camera recently as my wife and I ran over our beloved ragdoll cat. Unfortunately I didn't think to check for him under the car or the rear of it and we lost him. Checking the back is a great idea and one anyone should do anyway, regardless, to make sure your vehicle is in operable condition. Camera's wouldn't hurt, but also wouldn't necessarily fix the issue at hand.
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