The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a proposal last week that requires all light vehicles, including cars, SUVs, trucks and vans to have a “rear-view visibility system,” in effect.
The rule will begin phasing in 10% of vehicles after May 1, 2016 models, 40% a year later and 100% in May 2018. The rule follows a demand from consumer groups and families that have been affected by tragedies involving back-over accidents, especially ones involving children in parking lots or driveways.
“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents—our children and seniors,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”
Under the new rule, all vehicles must come equipped with a backup camera that allows the driver to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The requirements also involve image size and other factors that ensure that rear-view cameras are the solution to reducing back-over accidents.
Each year 210 people die and 15,000 are injured in light-vehicle backup incidents, with about 31% of the deaths among kids under age 5 and 26% adults over 70, according to a 2010 report by the NHTSA.
The NHTSA estimates that 58-69 lives will be saved each year once all vehicles on the road are equipped with rear-view systems, which it believes will be in about 2054.
Source: USA Today
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