NHTSA Prolongs Backup Camera Requirements for Fourth Time

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has once again delayed a mandatory backup camera rule for 2014 model cars. The new date is 2015 but more delays are possible.


Our Spartanburg car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of backup cameras. Particularly relating to the safety of children and the elderly.

NHTSA recently issued a news release discussing backup cameras and adding backup cameras to the list of recommended vehicle safety technologies.

NHTSA also provided a list of requirements for a backup camera to meet its standard. These requirements include:

• Show a 20 by 10 foot area directly behind the automobile • Automatically display in two seconds or less of the vehicle being shifted into reverse; and • Be large enough so a driver is able to discern objects and avoid a collision with those objects

While including backup cameras on a list of recommended features may be helpful it actually reflects an unwillingness to enact a regulation that would make backup cameras required in all vehicles starting with model year 2014.

Although NHTSA has experienced limited success when it places a safety technology on its list of recommended safety features, it is not a certainty that all automakers will implement the technology.

According to Autonews.com, the United States Transportation Department has delayed implementing the mandatory backup camera rule a total of four times (most recently missed a Dec. 2012 deadline). The regulation was required by a 2008 auto-safety law.

Auto manufactures claim that backup cameras should not be a required technology and that consumers should make the decision as to what safety technologies are included with their vehicles. Auto manufactures have complained about the cost of the proposed regulation and stated it is only necessary in larger vehicles.

The shift in position from NHTSA is frightening mainly because of the high numbers of children and the elderly individuals who die every year in backover accidents. It is estimated that about half of all backover accidents could be prevented with the installation of backup cameras.

The United States Transportation Secretary, who will step down as soon as a replacement is found, announced that more research into the cost of the proposed rule is necessary before a mandate is issued.

NHTSA has asked for comments as to whether incentives should be included for backup cameras in its New Car Assessment Program.

The New Car Assessment Program is designed to influence consumer choices when purchasing a new vehicle by rating cars based on safety. The current ratings provide an incentive for vehicles that utilize electronic stability control. Electronic stability Control is a technology that was once optional but is not mandatory on all new vehicles.

In a recent notice from NHTSA, the agency proposed replacing the Electronic Stability Control incentive with an incentive for rearview cameras.

Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

More Blog Resources:
Speed Increasing Risks of Serious Charleston Traffic Accidents, Sept. 6, 2013, Asheville Car Accident Lawyer Blog

Back to School Traffic Safety in the Carolinas, Aug. 27, 2013, Winston-Salem Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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