Report: NHTSA to delay backup camera regulations

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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