Word out of Washington today is that new rules designed to help drivers avoid unintentionally backing over children have been delayed — again. This time, automakers complained that requiring rearview video camera systems on new cars and trucks would be too expensive.
The debate continues. If you recall, it was more than a year ago that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed requiring improved driver rear visibility in new vehicles. In most cases, that meant rear-mounted video cameras with in-vehicle display screens.
Phasing in the regulations was to be completed for all cars and light trucks by the time the 2014s arrived.
Published accounts said the rear visibility rules were required by a law passed in 2008 by Congress after a growing number of accidents in which children were injured and/or killed by being backed over. Specifically noted were blind spots for large sport utility vehicles and pickups.
Federal transportation officials said about 300 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year in back-over accidents. A large number of these occur in driveways and parking lots. About half of the deaths and injuries are children under the age of 5, but elderly victims account for a large number as well.
Back in December, lobbyists took to the White House the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ idea of using expanded mirrors rather than cameras to improve visibility on vehicles. The automakers said the mirrors could work and save costs.
Now, federal transportation execs say they need more time for research and analysis before instituting the regulations.
While both sides agree that the situation must be addressed, and knowing that the law is on the books, they continue to debate the cost and absolute regulation. Twice before the implementation of the law has been delayed. And still, back-over deaths occur.
See more on this topic in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/PARENTING-OKLAHOMA or KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/TRAVEL-TIPS.
You also can read more at …
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.gov
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: http://www.autoalliance.org/