NHTSA Delays Implementation of Rear Camera Requirement

Vehicle safety restraints, airbags, stability control and other technical improvements have made today's vehicles much safer for drivers and passengers. Technologies have finally evolved to the point where they also can reduce the frequency of serious injuries and wrongful deaths from vehicle/pedestrian accidents.

Vehicle back-up cameras provide a clear warning to drivers when a person, particularly a small child, is standing or walking behind a car or truck that is moving in reverse. Recognizing the value of this safety enhancement, Congress passed legislation in 2007 requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create rules that would mandate rear cameras on all passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans and buses sold in the U.S. by 2014.

Unfortunately, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced yet another delay in finalizing the administrative rule that will require automakers to install rear visibility cameras on all models sold in the U.S. The Detroit News recently reported that auto industry lobbyists had requested further study due to concerns about the cost of this important preventative measure.

Protecting Children and Others From Being Backed Over When They Cannot Be Seen

Children five and under are at particular risk of fatal back-up accidents, accounting for 44 percent of fatalities. Wrongful death victims over 70 also are overly represented when drivers strike pedestrians while backing into blind spots. Nationwide, more than 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur every year when pedestrians are backed over or crushed between a moving vehicle and a parked car or truck.

While auto industry groups crunch numbers and make cold cost/benefit calculations about the value of lives saved, families suffer needless tragedies when economically feasible improvements are delayed. Injury victims and surviving family members who must face medical expenses, lost income or the loss of a loved one can explore their legal options by consulting closely with a car accident lawyer.