Government Wants Delay of Backup Camera Requirement

By Colin Bird  on February 28, 2011

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The Obama administration has asked for more time to finalize proposed rules that would require backup cameras in all vehicles by late 2014.

The regulations were supposed to be finalized today, according to the Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that would be responsible for enforcing the new rules, said in a statement that it needs more time “to analyze public comments, complete the rulemaking process and issue a final rule.” Under the original proposal, 10% of new vehicles would need backup cameras by September 2012, 40% by September 2013 and 100% by September 2014.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a lobbying group that represents the Detroit Three and other big players like Toyota, Mazda and Volkswagen — has opposed the regulation because it’s too costly. If the rule is finalized, the backup cameras would cost the industry $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion annually, according to NHTSA.

For consumers, that translates to an additional $159 to $203 on vehicles with no in-dash display and $58 to $88 on vehicles that already come with displays, according to the Detroit News.

The backup cameras are intended to help save some 100 lives a year, according to NHTSA. The lost lives are usually that of children, ages 5 or younger.

Quite morbidly, the amount of money the regulations would cost the car industry outweigh the cost in human life, according to NHTSA’s analysis. The safety agency estimates that a human life is statistically worth $6.1 million. The cost of the regulations would cost $11.3 million to $72.2 million per life saved.

NHTSA seeks to delay in-vehicle camera regulations (The Detroit News)

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