Federal regulators push to require rearview cameras in cars by 2014

The dashboard of the Honda Crosstour features a rearview camera and monitor that are used when the car is backing up. The function may be required in new cars by 2014.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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By 2014, every new passenger car on the road will have a rearview camera, if federal regulators have their way.

The final draft of the rule, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to send to Congress on Wednesday, would require automakers to install the backup function.

And it’s not just to prevent curb-hopping and love-tapping. Each year, 228 people die after being struck by passenger vehicles going in reverse – including about two children a week, according to the New York Times.


Accidents caused by drivers backing up also injure 17,000 people annually.

The mandate to build in cameras and viewing screens – first proposed in 2010 – could cost automakers between $160 and $200 for each car, or as much as $2.7 billion total each year.

The camera is currently standard on fewer than half of model-year 2012 vehicles.

Automakers unveiled an assortment of other preventative safety features at the L.A. Auto Show in November.

Infiniti showed off its backup collision intervention technology, which not only beeps when its sensors detect potential obstacles but also automatically brakes to avoid a crash.

A similar function from Ford offers blind-spot warnings. Cadillac has a virtual bumper feature that stops the car before it hits anything.


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