Backup cameras will be mandatory for automakers by May 2018. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Monday issue new regulation that requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds be equipped with rear-visibility cameras. The regulation, clearly, is meant to encourage a safer environment for both pedestrians and drivers, ensuring folks are fully aware of their surroundings. Most cars today are already equipped with such technology, but the mandate ensures that automakers follow a universal policy for the benefit of safety.
The inclusion is a convenient and helpful tool, but drivers shouldn’t ignore more archaic methods, such as checking mirrors and looking in blind spots. The NHTSA report says vehicles are required to be equipped with a camera that will give drivers a view of a 10 x 20 foot zone; other requirements include how long a car’s screen stays active, response time, camera durability and more. The rule was initially suggested back in 2011, but was hit by a number of delays.
“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back over accidents—our children and seniors,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. David Friedman, NHTSA acting administrator, added, “Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many familiar from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur.”
NHTSA said there are on average 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries caused by back over crashes. Vehicles fitted with rear cameras might not eliminate incidents entirely, but they’ll surely make it easier for drivers to judge if there is anything or anyone behind them.