Federally mandated backup camera legislation heating up again [w/poll]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could finally be ready to implement a law first expected back in 2008. Automotive News is reporting that while many of us were opening presents and eating Christmas dinner, NHTSA was busy submitting a revised version of its plan that would mandate that all new cars be fitted with a backup camera. The goal? To reduce the number of people – especially children – who are backed over each year.

Originally, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act required all new cars to come with a backup camera by 2014, but delay after delay after delay has now pushed this date back to 2015. It's not clear what percentage of vehicles currently come standard with the cameras, but the article does point out that all of Honda's lineup will comply with the original regulation once the 2015 Fit goes on sale.

Previous estimates indicate that adding backup cameras to new cars costs between $58 and $203 per vehicle, but the upside is that doing so is estimated save about 100 lives per year. Other estimates put the total cost to automakers for enacting the law at between $700 million and $1.6 billion, a tab that critics say will be passed directly to consumers. As NHTSA reportedly employs a statistical cost of $6.1 million as the value of a human life, under a best-case scenario, the law is expected to cost between $11.8 million and $19.7 million per life saved.

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