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Rules proposed by the government recently to address
worries about drivers unintentionally backing over children could make rearview
cameras in vehicles more common.
The new requirements from the Department of
Transportation are aimed at bettering rear visibility in cars by the 2014 model
In 2008, Congress pushed the safety upgrades as the
result of dozens of accidents in which children were backed over. Large SUVs
and pickups were focused on due to their blind zones.
Rearview cameras are just one of several new technologies
being installed in vehicles that are being listed as one of the reasons motor
vehicle accidents are continually declining. They’re optional equipment on most
vehicles, and only about 20 percent of 2010 vehicles have them onboard.
The proposal should be completed next year. Under the
plan, 10 percent of the vehicle fleet will need to meet the standards by 2012,
followed by 40 percent in 2013 and all new vehicles by 2014. The rules will
apply to all passenger cars, SUVs, pickups, minivans and other vehicles
weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Under the plan, test objects would need to be
visible in an area 20 feet behind the vehicle and about 5 feet to either side
of the vehicle’s center.
The government estimated the new requirements would cost
about $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion.