After years of delays and lawsuits, the government's proposed backup camera mandate is finally a reality, according to reports from The Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that all vehicles less than 10,000 pounds must be equipped with a backup camera starting in 2018 for model-year 2019 vehicles.
The mandate is a long time coming: Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in 2008, named after a child killed when an SUV backed into him in 2002. The bill stipulated that the Department of Transportation had to issue a backup camera law within three years. After years of setbacks, several safety groups sued the DOT last year, citing an "unreasonable delay" in creating backup-camera rules.
Cost is one of the points at issue; NHTSA says the backup camera will likely cost the auto industry an extra $58 to $203 per vehicle, but that the equipment would cut between 95 and 112 of the nearly 300 backup deaths per year in the U.S. NHTSA cites that about 100 of those annual deaths are of children younger than 5. Some automakers, like Honda, have already started offering standard backup cameras across their lineups.
Click here to read more from our affiliates at the Detroit News.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears