Cameras are coming to your new car. According to new guidelines published Monday, the government is requiring all new cars to come equipped with rear visibility technology by 2018.
The ruling comes from the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors," US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today"s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents."
The rule regards all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, which includes buses and trucks. The goal of the ruling is to prevent backover accidents, where the victims are usually children or the elderly.
"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "We"re already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today."
Safety advocate groups are pleased with NHTSA’s decision.
"It"s about time the motoring public will finally be able to see what"s behind their vehicle while backing up," says Janette Fennell, the president of KidsAndCars.org, in a statement.
The statistics regarding backover accidents are shocking, both in number and in the ages of the victims.
“On average,” according to the NHTSA, “there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.”
The government believes by requiring the rear visibility technology, lives will be saved each year.
“NHTSA took time on this regulation to ensure that the policy was right and make the rule flexible and achievable,” the department continued. “In fact, at this point, many companies are installing rear visibility systems on their own, due to consumer demand. Including vehicles that already have systems installed, 58 to 69 lives are expected to be saved each year once the entire on-road vehicle fleet is equipped with rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of today"s final rule.”
The ruling only effects new cars, and will be officially required in all cars manufactured after May 2018.