NHTSA postpones backup camera proposal to Congress

I am behind the wheel of another car this week, the Chevy Equinox. It comes with a navigation system complete with a rear view backup camera.

The very same type of camera that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), had proposed to require be installed in all new cars by 2014. But after a flood of over 200 public comments expressing concern they have postponed their charge to Congress. In a statement released to the press late last month, a spokesperson for the NHTSA said,

“The public comment period on this safety proposal only recently closed, and NHTSA has asked Congress for additional time to analyze public comments, complete the rulemaking process and issue a final rule.”

The original proposal was a reaction to The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. This was a law passed in 2008. (It was named after a boy who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him.) The law required the NHTSA to “address” the issue of rear safety.

The proposed backup camera requirement wasn’t being publicly oppossed by the big three automakers, but they were asking for more time to comply. Their concern? Cost. According to The Detroit News, the NHTSA said in December 2010 that they estimated that implementing their proposal would cost the auto industry $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion annually. Which breaks down to an extra $58 to $88 for cars already fitted with a navigation display screen, and  without a display screen, $159 to $203 for ones without .

In driving the Chevy Equinox I found the camera to be helpful, especially the lines that guided me to adjust my trajectory while parking. However, I didn’t use the camera exclusively. Partly because I have been trained for over twenty years to turn my head, but also because the camera didn’t offer me the complete perspective in all cases. Plus when it was wet outside the camera picture was cloudy, and therefore untrustworthy. No matter the conditions though, the yield “beeps” were a great teammate in my efforts to keep myself, and those around me, safe.

What do you think? Have you driven a car with a rear view backup camera? How did it affect your driving? Do you think the backup cameras should be required by law? If so, when? Public comments may be officially closed for the NHTSA, but automakers are still listening. Let’s share our vision for car safety and together maybe we can save some lives.



* Level 1: Some or all of the products or services mentioned were provided to Miss Lori free of charge.

Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista , ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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