USA Today reported that The Transportation Department has proposed new rear visibility rules that would, in effect, require backup cameras in all cars and light trucks by the 2014 models. The estimated cost of the systems -- a video camera at the rear of the vehicle and an interior display -- would add about $200 to the price of a vehicle.
The purpose, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, "would help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up."
This proposed new rule would require an area 20 feet behind and 10 feet wide to be visible to the driver. It was required by Congress in a 2007 law named for a toddler killed when his father accidentally backed over him in the family's driveway.
Backup accidents kill nearly 300 and injure 18,000 a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It estimates the new rule would save 95 to 112 deaths and 7,000 injuries a year.
Backup cameras are mostly optional today and about 20% of 2010 vehicles have them, the Associated Press reported. The proposed rule, which would become final after a required 60-day public comment period, would have to be met by 10% of 2012 new vehicles up to 10,000 lbs. gross weight, 40% of 2013s and all 2014s.
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