Safety Advocates Say Backup Camera Recommendation Not Enough

by | Oct 17, 2013 | Car Accident

All new vehicles should be equipped with rear view video systems to enhance safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently recommended. The technology has existed for several years. Safety advocates say the rearview technology should be mandatory in new vehicles rather than simply recommended.

Rear view camera systems are just one feature that the agency recommends to auto manufacturers. The agency advises consumers to purchase new cars that are also equipped with lane change warning and forward collision warning systems.

The rear view camera system will replace an earlier recommendation that all new cars have electronic stability control. The reason for the change is that new cars are now manufactured with electronic stability control as a standard feature.

Despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendation on rear view camera systems, safety advocates think that a recommendation is not good enough. They would like to see this advanced safety technology on every new car and truck on America’s roads.

In fact, a group of organizations is filing a lawsuit against the agency for failing to require backup cameras. At the forefront of this legal action are two parents who backed over their children in their driveways, CNN reports.

The Department of Transportation has reported that back-over accidents injure about 17,000 people and kill more than 200 people each year. Although approximately 70% of all new vehicles come equipped with backup cameras, safety and consumer protection groups see no reason to allow car manufacturers to omit them from any new vehicles.

NHTSA’s requirements for an acceptable rear view camera system are as follows:

  • Must display a 20’ x 10’ area directly behind a vehicle.
  • Must display an image within two seconds of the driver switching the vehicle into reverse.
  • The display terminal must be of sufficient size for the driver to make decisions based on the image.