Backup-Camera Mandate Moves Forward


Industry-wide backup cameras, which have been stuck in neutral since 2007, may yet become reality. In a move that could signal a law sometime before January 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation sent rules that require backup cameras in new cars to the White House for approval, the Detroit News reported Thursday.

Consumer Groups Sue Government Over Backup Camera Delay

It follows a September 2013 lawsuit from several groups, including the Consumer Reports-backing Consumers Union, that the DOT incurred "unreasonable delay" in creating backup-camera rules. The original act, issued by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in early 2008, authorized the DOT to issue a law within three years.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration exercised its power to delay the ruling, citing the need for further analysis on what could cost the auto industry (and, ultimately, car shoppers) another $58 to $203 per vehicle. NHTSA says adding backup cameras would cut between 95 and 112 of the nearly 300 backup deaths per year in the U.S., the Detroit News reports. By the Detroit News' tally, however, the agency has delayed a ruling five separate times. As it currently stands, even if the White House approves the current mandate, backup cameras wouldn't be universal on new cars until the 2017 model year. That's at least two years behind the timetable for the original rule, according to the newspaper.

By Kelsey Mays | January 7, 2014 | Comments (14)


Every life is important but to demand an industry wide change to save about 100 lives a year seems ridiculous.

Instead of focusing on more advanced and complicated technology for cars, there should be a push for better driver training. Most of those incidents probably could have been avoided if the driver was aware of their surroundings and not distracted by texting, calling, eating, putting on makeup, or just being plain careless.

Even with these cameras, these incidents will still happen, and could even rise. The cameras give limited vision and many drivers won't bother to turn around to look for passing cars, bicyclists, or running children.


Prevent phones from working while motion and save a ton more people. Pretty big cost for a relatively small gain.

sad panda

I fail to see how anyone could be against this. $50-200 tacked on to the price of a $20,000 car? That's less than tax and registration, and the technology seems like a no-brainer. Cheap camera module, cheap LCD display in cabin. Heck, I wish my rear-view camera could be on *all* the time instead of just when I'm in reverse.

This should have been done yesterday.


For every soldier killed in the line of duty is the government paying out to the families over $26million each?

Avg. Backup camera cost =$130
multiplied by avg. 20million cars sold/leased per year
Divided by the 100 lives anticipated to be saved
Equals the federal government telling us each life is worth over $26million


It seems like the rear camera upgrade is usually part of the stereo package,package about $1,200 upgrade on the cars I was looking at.


Why can't car manufacturers just build cars that you can see out of the rear window? Further, why can't people attempt to turn around and look or at least check the mirrors before they start backing up. If your too lazy to check mirrors, I betcha too lazy to check the rear camera screen too!

People must start to pay more attention when they are in cars. You are controlling a large vehicle, look around you before you start backing up. Even though adding backup cameras is a good idea and will help but it will also add to the laziness of people. Be smart, don't rely on technology, use your senses.

Bruce Thompson

I have had my new car with a backup camera for about 6 months. I appreciate the camera, but at the same time, have found it distracting. The display is in my dashboard so when I look down, I loose eye contact with my mirrors. Therefore I loose contact with cars or pedestrians approaching from left or right. I know the camera is a fisheye view, but it is not good for judging distance of the passing traffic

Brx Trb

My vehicle has a back-up camera and it's not all that useful.
People or objects approaching the area of coverage cannot be seen unless you turn your head completely around.
I don't trust a camera for that very reason.

Ken L.

I wouldn't worry too much about this. In a few years when cars are partially or fully self-automated, certain tasks, such as parking, will becoming a thing of the past.


I'm not a big fan of the cameras. They get dirty or covered with snow too easily, and placement interferes with usual attentive driving. On the other hand, I wish I had an always-on rear-facing camera on my larger motorcycle and on some of the vehicles I've driven that lacked a rear window.


Great, show me when the people are right behind my car and it's too late.

Tell me that in a parking lot surrounded by SUV's that this device will help me one bit in seeing cars or pedestrians coming from the side.

It makes backing into a spot easier, it does nothing else and it doesn't do it that well.


Just came back from a trip to overseas.

The cars over there beep to alert people when the vehicle is in reverse.
That could be a compromise.


@Hmmmm - Ha! putting a price on life. I guess you would sell your family if I could negotiate a good price with you.

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