NHTSA Postpones Rearview Camera Requirement For New Vehicles

A rule that would require all new automobiles to include a rearview back-up camera by 2014 has been postponed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was expected that the new regulation would have been announced today, but instead, the agency said they need to look into the matter more before finalizing it.

CNNMoney says the NHTSA released a statement regarding their decision not to go ahead with the rule.

“The Department remains committed to improving rearview visibility for the nation’s fleet and we expect to complete our work and issue a final rule by December 31, 2012.”

Advocates of the rule say rearview cameras are necessary due to the blind spot drivers can’t see behind their bumpers. The regulation was proposed in 2010, following the 2007 act called the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. It was named after a 2-year-old boy who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him in the family’s driveway.

Ami Gadhia, the Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union, says the announcement of the rule’s postponement is disappointing.

“We have long championed a rule to improve visibility in and around cars. We’re disappointed the government did not take final action today to address this problem, but we understand they are still on a path forward to issuing a rule this year. We hope that day comes as soon as possible so that rear visibility for all vehicles is improved and needless deaths and injuries are reduced,” she says.

Rearview car camera rules delayed by U.S. [CNNMoney]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    How reliable are these devices over the long-term? Is this a device that requires constant repair, or will last as long as your engine? Same question regarding the method the driver view’s the camera image. My concern is this will drastically increase the cost of even economy cars, both in terms up production cost, and maintenance.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The NHTSA didn’t have any issues with cost or reliability when they mandated TPMS and ESC.

    • unpolloloco says:

      Reliability shouldn’t be a huge issue. All the components involved are solid-state electronics. The wiring is probably the most likely component to fail. Backup cameras are really nice (especially for parallel parking in tight spots), but not necessarily a huge safety improvement (especially given the low number of fatalities and high cost).

    • jp7570-1 says:

      I’ve had one as a factory-standard item since 2005 and it has worked without issue for the past 7 years.

    • icerabbit says:

      I’m not opposed to it. Rearward visibility is getting worse and worse, even with smaller vehicles. Standardization should bring cost way down from what it is now sold for now, and is essentially cheap low resolution solid state technology. Once it would become standard the cost should be negligible really.

      But, I think there are other things that could get a higher priority: like rearview mirrors with a convex outer lip (outer 1/4 or 1/5th) that mitigates blind spots. Something that costs next to nothing to implement and so common on other continents, that it is baffling it simply doesn’t seem to exist here. No, we need active radar & camera systems that cost $1000 vs a $5 (if that) piece of convex mirror.

      I did see the new Ford Fiesta & Focus have a mini blind spot mirror now from the factory. It may not be as pretty or streamlined as the integrated convex lip, but it works. Can’t wait for all other manufacturers to follow suit and for the Europeans to bring over their European mirrors. Convex mirror standard across the pond. Here you get a flat one???

    • SeattleSeven says:

      I think it is funny that we wonder about the longevity of basic electronics and compare them to a car engine of all things.

    • Jawaka says:

      /shrug

      I’m sure that some will break here and there and you’ll just get them replaced like any other part of your car that breaks over time.

    • Jimmy37 says:

      Maybe the gubbermint should mandate that people use their mirrors when they backup and look before they move. I put 3″ mirrors on the upper outside edge of my left/right mirrors. This lets me see behind my van.

  2. dolemite says:

    More likely, lobbyists behind LCD screens, cameras, etc. have a hand in this. How do roughly 200 deaths equate to Americans having to spend billions more on cars? Because you know…a camera and LCD screen system won’t be cheap. Also…I can see this requirement for behemoth SUVs and Minivans, but for Accents, Civics, etc?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Agreed – I might accept a compromise that any car with an LCD screen at least X inches diaganal must also have a rear-view camera, and/or a size and height requirements.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I believe the rationale was that revised crash test requirements resulted in thicker pillars and poorer all around visibility, and the only solution was to mandate extra sensors.

    • greggorthechamp says:

      LCD’s and Camera’s are not really all that expensive.

      • Buckus says:

        Maybe not to the manufacturer, but that won’t stop them from charging an extra $1000 per vehicle.

        • BurtReynolds says:

          Exactly. Price out a car and add the backup camera (which usually requires navigation) and see your price blow up.

          Some vehicles have it integrated into the rear view mirror, but IMO that screen is too small to be useful. Toyota might have the right idea by putting in a smaller color LCD in the center console on non-navigation Highlanders. Not sure if they do that in other models.

  3. Kevin says:

    I think this may be a bit too strong of a requirement for all cars. I will say, as the Dad of 2 small kids, that I would not buy a car without at least rear sensors on it. In fact, choosing one or the other, I’d rather the rear sensors that detect an object and beep to alert me as I get near, than a camera that I may or may not look at at the right moment since I my be checking for traffic down the road or people backing out of parking spaces.

    • wackydan says:

      I have both camera and sensors on the new truck… The sensors are far better at alerting me than the camera would be… Though I do consult the camera, and my mirrors.

    • MaytagRepairman says:

      When I am running late for work, I doubt I ever look at my own backup camera while getting out of the driveway. There is simply no learned behavior to expect something behind me in the driveway compared to a parking lot. An audible warning makes more sense (unless you have a hearing problem).

    • chefboyardee says:

      As a dad of 1 small kid, I do what people have done for the past X years since cars were invented, I don’t let my kid play in the driveway, teach him to stay out of the driveway, and look before I back up. Also I drive a reasonable-sized car, not some ridiculous monstrosity that I can’t see out the back of. I have no plans to buy a new car anytime in the next 10 years unless mine explodes (my current one does not have any kind of beeps or cameras, just good old-fashioned common sense and driving skills).

    • friesentl says:

      As someone who owns a small car and runs into the trash can in the driveway ALL THE TIME (why can’t the trash pickup guys put it back where they found it, instead of tossing it into the middle of my driveway?) I agree with just having the simpler rear sensors…the ones that beep when there’s something behind you. I don’t think we need an entire video system in every car.

  4. Cat says:

    I’m just sick and tired of all these new requirements for expensive high tech solutions to common problems that serve little purpose, but drive up the cost of cars while decreasing the reliability. Enough already!

    Check your tire pressure. Check your rear view mirrors, or get off your lazy ass, GTFO of your car, and look behind you. Don’t make everyone pay more for a car because some people are lazy and incompetent.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      You oppose mandating a $1,000 TPMS system instead of just buying a $5 tire gauge?

      • Cat says:

        The only problem with the $5 tire gauge is that there is often an idiot attached to the end of it.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Funny, that’s also what I usually find attached to the ends of lane change alert systems, blind spot alarms, and automatic braking systems.

          I love cars. Love them, but I hate all this shit.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          An idiot can also just as easily ignore a yellow TPMS warning light.

        • Buckus says:

          Or, more often, no one at the end of it.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      while I agree with your sentiment I feel the need to point out that when the idiot is behind the wheel of their ugly gas guzzling SUV the person that pays the price for that stupidity is rarely the driver. It is the pedestrian or other car that gets hit and hurt/killed.

  5. EllenRose says:

    And just last week I was reading about government pushing to get distracting hi-tech off our dashboards!

  6. JeremieNX says:

    So this and many other “mandates” will make even the most basic economy cars $25,000+ to purchase and even more to maintain since all these gadgets will invariably break after a short time.

    It will just drive more people to buying older used cars.

    • fortymegafonzies says:

      I don’t support the mandate, but the systems are really pretty cheap. “….the NHTSA found that adding a backup camera to a vehicle without an existing visual display screen will probably cost $159 to $203 per vehicle, shrinking to between $58 and $88 for vehicles that already use display screens”. Basically just a cheap ass webcam and a crappy little LCD.

      • Invader Zim says:

        What they find and what actually happens are in no way related. ;o) By the time everyone gets their hand in the pie I bet its way more than 200 bucks.

        • fortymegafonzies says:

          It would be in auto makers’ best interests to install the most cost effective systems, and that’s what they’d do — many of them already these systems either standard or optional.

          • kgb says:

            Cost effective for THEM is totally different than what it costs US when we buy the cars. Just look at the cheap plastics & materials used compared to the price of what is actually charged for the car.
            Hell, DVD players are dirt cheap, but they charge $700 for one in a car.

  7. tbax929 says:

    I have a rearview camera installed on my 2011 Altima Coupe. I doubt I need it since I can easily see what’s behind me through the mirror and rear window, but I really like having that camera. It came as part of my upgraded stereo so I didn’t really ask for it, but I like it a lot.

    I wish my prior car (an SUV) had had one. I had huge blind spots in that thing.

    • ElBobulo says:

      This is something I’ve noticed lately, in the media and elsewhere. At what point did an SUV become a “car”? It’s a TRUCK.

  8. unpolloloco says:

    Cost per life saved (using the numbers in the article): $20-25 million. I feel there are more cost-effective ways to improve safety. In fact, given the average cost and fatality reduction of NHTSA mandates (~$0.5M), this one is significantly more expensive (http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/809835.html).

  9. Straspey says:

    This is why it this is a good idea:

    “Mom accidentally runs over child in Littleton”

    Tuesday, 09 Aug 2011

    LITTLETON (FOX25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A young Littleton girl remains in serious condition following an accident in her driveway.

    Police say Monday just before 6 o’clock, the 10-year-old’s mother hit her while backing out of the family’s driveway on Matawanakee Trail.

    An investigation is underway, but officials say they believe the whole thing was an accident.

    The name of the victim has not been released.

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/local/mother-backs-over-daughter-in-driveway-20110808

    Also — My sister was backing out of her driveway and ran over her cat, who was deaf and was not facing in the direction of the vehicle. The cat did not survive and my sister was inconsolable for weeks afterwards.

    • Marlin says:

      So people that are not paying attention will pay attention to a small screen in their car?

      If anything it will increase the number of accidnets as people will stop looking back and checkign blind spots and only glance at the screen.

      • Cat says:

        This, a thousand times this.

      • waterboy in Alaska says:

        I bought a new truck eight months ago, fully loaded…camera, backup sensors, lighted cup holders, you know…everything. The camera is great for backing up..almost to good because I HAVE caught myself not paying attention to what is on the side of me. So yes I would agree it can be a distraction as well as an aid. Now the sensors, when I hear a beep backing up now, I stop immediately to check everywhere. Of course living in a northern climate can cause false alarms due to frost/snow on the sensors and I have to keep the camera lens clean also to be of use. Overall I really like thes additions, and would never buy a vehicle again without them, but i don’t see the need to mandate them for every car out there.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I want to know seriously how it is the car’s fault that you RAN OVER YOUR OWN KID IN YOUR OWN GODDAMN DRIVEWAY??

      You’re not going fast, you’re in a controlled space, there are no other cars to contend with, you know how many children you have, etc…

      I firmly believe accidents like these are more due to the people driving the cars and their lack of awareness (among other qualities) than the car’s lack of a rearview camera.

    • AllanG54 says:

      Why would your sister let her deaf cat be outside to begin with?

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    How about, just keep track of your damn kids.

    • Kuri says:

      Because only kids are every the ones in danger.

      We’ve had cases where idiotic ADULTS walk RIGHT behind the SUV and the backups sensor is the only thing letting us know.

  11. dush says:

    Every car should have a hovering robot station 20 feet above it providing a birds eye view of everything around and near the car.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      Actually, if we all just rode bicycles, nothing like this would ever happen.

      • unpolloloco says:

        The number of times I’ve been hit or almost hit by a bicycle (as a pedestrian) disagrees with that statement! Instead, we should just all roll around in hermetically-sealed bubbles.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      Actually, if we all just rode bicycles, nothing like this would ever happen.

  12. BurtReynolds says:

    Taking it too far with this. Realistically, how many kids get run over by a car backing up? Personally, I back out of my driveway so slowly that the kid would have to be unable to move and mute for me to run him over. And that is also if I don’t bother to check my mirrors or look behind me at all while doing it.

    Losing a two year old is terrible, but who was watching him if Dad was driving a car? There are always going to be accidents, we can’t afford (and shouldn’t try to) mitigate every single potential accident. I’d rather see that extra $500-$1000 per car go into fuel economy improvements. The lives saved from reduced demand for petroleum and air pollution would probably far outweigh the lives saved by this camera mandate.

    Too bad the API’s lobby is much better funded than the efficient vehicles, energy efficiency, and clean air lobbies. I guess the auto gadget lobby is probably better too, as I bet they are lending a “helping hand” to this cause out of their concern for the children.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      $500 to $1000? Did you read the article?

      “the addition of rear-view camera equipment would cost between $159 to $203 per car, or $88 to $158 on vehicles already equipped with some sort of display screen, such as one used for navigation.”

      • George4478 says:

        So say the people not involved with the pricing of car accessories. What does Ford say?

      • George4478 says:

        So say the people not involved with the pricing of car accessories. What does Ford say?

      • EllenRose says:

        Bull. “Cost overrun” is the official theme song of government mandates.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Price out a car and see how much it costs to get the rear view camera on there. I’ve been car shopping recently, and it is never “just” $200.

  13. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    BTW, where I live, kids often play in the parking lot. So what do I do? When I get home, and pull up to my parking space, I see that there is nothing there. I BACK INTO MY SPACE.

    That way, when I pull out of the space, I see what I am driving toward.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I do exactly the same thing with my driveway.

      My alley gets an aggravating amount of through traffic, so it’s easier to just back into my garage when I’m parking and then pull forward into the alley when I leave.

  14. DJ Charlie says:

    Well, I’ve got both a backup camera AND backup sensors on my to-do list for the Lady. Of course, she’s a freaking huge van, too.

  15. jp7570-1 says:

    I have a feeling that technology will be ahead of the requirements anyway. Many models with nav systems also include a rearview camera. And many models without nav systems already include in-dash LCD screens. Several Chevrolet SUV’s are already using this as a selling point, and customers may demand this feature anyway, circumventing governmental requirements,

  16. Cat says:

    Let Cameron Gulbransen’s Dad pay for it.

  17. Sian says:

    Good. requiring back-up cameras won’t make people use them, and would add needless cost to automobiles.

  18. NightSteel says:

    I got a new car last year. Reverse sensors came with the security package that I wanted. An RVC was also an option with the appropriate electronics package, but said package to get the screen was almost $2400, where the camera itself was in the $300 range. That definitely wasn’t worth it to me. I like the reverse sensors, anyway; they’ve already saved me from backing into at least one small obstruction that was difficult to see but definitely would’ve screwed up my bumper.

    • hobochangbar says:

      “…but said package to get the screen was almost $2400…”
      That’s the idiotic car co. doing there. Last time car shopping I wanted one item that should add maybe $200 but was only available in a package that also included leather seats & a sun roof and was $3,200. I bought a different brand.

      I like the camera option and would buy it on my next van whether mandatory or not. I’ve experienced both sensors & a camera on different cars. Maybe didn’t have enough time to get used to the sensor but thought the camera was a much better tool for saftey.

      I’ve seen after market cameras for

  19. watcher says:

    The obvious solution is to have the government provide all drivers with a free chauffeur so that the driver doesn’t have to be responsible…

  20. j2.718ff says:

    I’ve never owned a car with one of these. How does it work out?

    When I backup, I look through the rear window, and get a pretty decent view. To get the additional view that a camera would provide, I need to look at the dash, right? Though the camera may give a more targeted view, I’d be giving up the wide angle view I get through the window.

    • donjumpsuit says:

      It depends on the car you drive. Some vehicles are deceptively wide and ubscure to see out the back window (mine for instance.) I suppose the mandate is there to make sure you know what is located two feet below your rear window, and withing two feet from your bumper. Even with your view, you would not be able to see something that jumped into that location while you were backing up. The camera shows you a decent view, and places marker lines in there so you can snug up to a car while parking, or line up the curb to protect your rims.
      Is it necessary? No, you are right. Are turn signals necessary? No, you can just stick your arms out the window and make the turn signals mandatory.

    • hobochangbar says:

      I’ve only used them in rentals & find them pretty intuitive/easy to use. As mentioned, even a small car has a blind spot at the rear. The field of vision on the ones I’ve used provide a very full & clear view of what’s behind you. They come on automatically when you engage reverse. I think one will simply change their sequence of where they look to add this view. Kinda like how I use my mirrors to check before changing lanes but still glance over before changing lane.

  21. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    At the same time the NHTSB is telling car manufacturers that they are not liking the electronics in cars. They’re pushing not only for cellphone bans whilst behind the wheel but also handsfree devices and all that other distracting GPS and entertainment distractions. Pretty soon, they’ll start banning yakity wives. 35 years driving of driving up to 40K miles/year and yet to be involved in an accident of my own doing (I’ve been rear-ended whilst stopped, T-boned by a drunk in a Caddy, sideswiped from a left-turner suddenly deciding to go right)

    At least they aren’t mandating those annoying backup beepers.

    • MrEvil says:

      Don’t give them any ideas about the Backup Claxons. It was bad enough when I was driving Forklifts on a regular basis.

  22. whgt says:

    I drove my grandmother in her newish car the other day and the rearview mirror kicked on a LCD for the backup camera. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it took up 1/3 of the rearview mirror…which actually reduced my visibility while back up. I definitely felt less safe.

  23. mmmwright says:

    According to the Fact Sheet for Backovers on KidsAndCars.org, 70% of backover accidents involving small children occur when a parent or other relative is driving the car.
    ….
    With costs for the new regulation estimated at $2.7 billion a year or $200 per vehicle, that’s $12 million per life saved if the regulation were 100 percent effective. Bloomberg Businessweek reports a more generous reduction in deaths, by 146 a year. But even then, the cost per life saved is still $18.5 million. That’s almost five times the lifetime earnings of someone with a professional degree, nine times the amount someone would earn with a bachelor’s degree and fifteen times the amount someone would earn with just a high school diploma, based on data from 1999.

    The financial costs of this regulation would come in addition to the $1,300 per car from the Obama recent changes to the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) law; not to mention every local police department’s favorite revenue generators, brake light and seat belt laws.

    Obviously people should be careful while driving, but all of these regulations add to the cost of production and ultimately make American-built cars less competitive. Besides that, Bloomberg reports that “back-up cameras are already a standard feature on 45 percent of 2012 passenger-car models, according to data compiled by Edmunds.com, an auto-market research company,” showing that voluntary enterprise was moving in this direction prior to the mandate. Furthermore, it’s an inefficient solution:

    The length of a rearview blind spot depends on the car’s make and the driver’s height. On coupes and sedans, which sit low to the ground, the blind spot can be as little as four feet. On taller SUVs, it can be 20 feet or more. By requiring cameras on all cars, NHTSA imposed an expensive, “one-size-fits-all solution” to the problem, Bergquist contends.

    This reveals a certain laziness in the decision-making. Legislators put minimum effort into finding the most cost-efficient solution to this problem and failed to consider that car design isn’t really their job in the first place. Clearly, when considering the fact that most backover accidents involve the parent or relative of a child, the right course of action would be legislation that prohibits parents and relatives of children from driving in the first place.

    Reason.com

    • kobresia says:

      I like that solution. Add to that, the number of automobile accidents caused by people being distracted by their children while driving, it makes even more sense!

  24. Invader Zim says:

    Even if they passed it people would still be backing over other people because they didnt look (victim or driver) in the first place. Yeah it would be nice…but nice aint gonne be free. You could look one second and somebody gets behind you the next. Where does personal responsibilty begin.

  25. voogru says:

    The government should mandate that they put radar on every car and mandate that they all have collision avoidance systems like the super high end Mercedes have.

    Then we can all cheer as we pay $80,000 for a new econo-box.

  26. tz says:

    So cars will be more expensive, and people will keep them longer – with worn out steering, brakes, tires… These might be nice for $50k cars but the cheapest entry level cars will have the same cost imposed.

  27. amuro98 says:

    What I don’t get is why don’t all cars that already have a nav screen already include this feature?

    For instance, the Hyundai we bought has the screen, but to get the backup camera, we would have to buy the $3000 “sports package” which included wider wheels, the nav system, a moon roof, and….the backup camera.

    We could not just get the backup camera. Somehow it required the wheels, moonroof and nav system to operate. What was stupider is that the moon roof actually lowers the roof inside the car, making it too short for me to sit in it. Again, we could NOT refuse the moon roof if we wanted the camera.

    Every other automaker we looked at had the same stupid restriction. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    • Kuri says:

      I hate that too. I would have loved to have had a GPS built into our SUV, but, I didn’t see a way we could just get THAT one part and not get a bunch of crap we didn’t care about.

  28. donjumpsuit says:

    Well, I kind of agree with everyone’s sentiments here. Like how does one fit an LCD screen into a Yaris Dashboard. Like a car that never had that kind of option.

    However, as far as the costs concerning screens and cameras, (Like NightSteel’s comments about a screen being $2400 and a camera being $300), don’t belevie the hype. The true costs of screen and camera are about $40. How much is that little boy’s life? Don’t beleive me? Just take a look at the Chinese internet trading site.

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/323688232/Car_Windshield_Digital_Monitor_3_5.html

    I have a backup camera in my 2003 Infiniti and it is wonderful. I also have dimmable mirrors and intelligent cruise control. Two features that I could live without but that are such a pleasure to have while driving.

    • Kuri says:

      If you can pick up a decent digital camera for 50 bucks, then these addons will barely break make a dent on cost.

      Where you get caught up in is it you want it in an existing car and need to get it installed

  29. Suburban Idiot says:

    Our most recent car came with the sensors and the camera. I didn’t go to the dealer looking for that feature, but the model we settled on had it bundled in with the GPS system (which I also didn’t go looking for but ended up with). I’ve been too busy using the mirrors and turning my head around to use it, but my wife said it was useful in the church parking lot after Wednesday night services since it’s not well lit and filled with kids (they do a kids’ bible study thing that night) who aren’t afraid to die since they’re pretty sure they’re going to heaven.

  30. Kuri says:

    We have a backup sensor on our SUV that has a beeper as well as some LEDs that indicate to us when something is behind us. It’s stopped a good few accidents.

  31. Geekybiker says:

    I’m not a huge fan of it from the safety perspective, but I love the cameras. They are great to have on your car. Maybe now I’ll be able to buy one without springing for the $2k gps option.

  32. nikalseyn says:

    This is the same type of crap now mandated by our lovely federal government like automatic air pressure monitoring. Because some people are too stupid to check the air pressure in their tyres we all have to pay for it. Because some people have backed over a kid, we all have to pay for it. This is getting ridiculous.

  33. Jimmy37 says:

    So the US Gov is going to charge billions of dollars to consumers to save a few lives?? Why cameras, why not the sensors?? This is ridiculous. I’ll bet these cameras won’t save more than half the lives because people aren’t paying attention. What about forcing people to install those Fresnel lenses that let you see below the back window. It’s a whole lot cheaper!

  34. JonBoy470 says:

    So I’m not a fan of all the “Nanny Crap” that new cars come with. I do find value in anti-lock brakes and air bags, but the reverse cameras and stability control are overkill, particularly for smaller cars. If you drive a tin car car, like a Ford Fiesta or Toyota Yaris, your rear blind-spot is already negligible, and the camera really doesn’t buy you anything. Now, if you have a larger vehicle, like a Ford Expedition or a Honda Odyssey, then you’ve got something big enough and heavy enough that the camera would be valuable. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is already included due to market pressure.

    As for the folks who ran over their toddler, I feel for them. I really do. And I have a two-year-old son of my own. But, I’d say the fact that only 200 people die that way every year is a clear sign that you have to be a real dumb-ass to run down your own kid in your own driveway. Which you should perhaps take as a sign that you were better off not being in the gene-pool anyhow…

  35. JonBoy470 says:

    Another thing to keep in mind is that, particularly with electronic add-ons, just because option X is part of a $2000 option package doesn’t mean you need to buy that package to get that option. Manufacturers typically wire a given automobile for all possible optional accessories, regardless of which ones are actually installed on any given vehicle, for the simple reason that it’s cheaper to do it that way. In other words, your car is most likely wired for all the options it didn’t come with.

    Let’s say you bought a car with the touch-screen radio but didn’t spring for the nav so you didn’t get the backup camera. A little sleuthing on teh Interwebs would get you the part number of the camera, then a little wrench turning and it would be basically plug and play from there…

  36. Cerne says:

    If these regulation was 100% effective it would cost $18 million per life saved. There are way better uses for that money.

  37. TouchMyMonkey says:

    I would kind of hope that such a device would be actually USEFUL. That is, remove the three mirrors I currently have attached to my car and replace it with a wide-angle camera or set of cameras that serves the same function, only better. Keep in mind that some means of keeping snow, ice, and dirt off it will have to be devised, and some agreement would have to be made as to exactly where the video monitor will go – hopefully someplace decided upon with regard to maximum convenience and usability. For that I would gladly pay extra.

    Now if we could get manufacturers to find somewhere else to stuff airbags besides in the A-pillar. I almost ran over somebody in a parking lot while turning left because I just did not see her. At all. Like she wasn’t there. Except she was. Honda, I’m talking to you.

  38. newmie says:

    Sure, force higher prices unto everyone to compensate for a few idiots who are careless. You can’t make the world entirely safe for everyone all the time. People need to realize that.

  39. ousterj says:

    My father – always a careful driver – backed over my dog when I was a child. I’m glad it wasn’t my brother or sister.

    People complained about be forced to pay for seat belts, forced to pay for side-impact resistant doors, forced to pay for anti-lock brakes, and almost everything else that’s been required. They’d complain about being forced to pay for a radio if the government required one.

    The rear sensors in my new Ford Fusion Hybrid work well but I think the rear view camera is a good idea. The only way to get one in my car was to pay for a $2000 option package. Now that I have the car I’ve found that my vision is limited just looking out the back. I may look for an aftermarket backup camera.

  40. potatopancake says:

    As part of driver’s ed, we were taught to check that the path of our vehicle whether pulling out backwards or forwards was clear. To this day, I walk to the back of my car before backing out of my driveway, and walk in front of my car before pulling out of a spot that I’ve backed into. Not only is this free, it’s foolproof and maintenance free, and even adds an extremely negligible amount of exercise to my day. Why am I being forced to pay for some lardo who can’t make it the extra ten steps without huffing and puffing?

  41. rushevents says:

    And they wonder why we call it a nanny state.

    Face it the government cannot protect you from every eventuality.