- Automakers will be required to install rear-visibility technology in all vehicles by May 2018, according to a final rule issued on Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- The technology — most likely in the form of back-up cameras — is designed to prevent backover accidents.
- The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers did not endorse the final rule.
WASHINGTON — Automakers will be required to install rear-visibility technology in all vehicles by May 2018, according to a final rule issued on Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The technology — most likely in the form of back-up cameras — is designed to prevent backover accidents.
"We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
"As a father, I can only imagine how heart-wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today's rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents."
Some automakers are rapidly adopting rear cameras. The 2015 Ford Focus will feature a standard rearview camera, Ford announced. Honda and Subaru have said they are making the cameras standard in all vehicles.
"Rearview cameras are an integral part of Honda's approach to enhance driver visibility," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda, in a statement. "By the 2015 model year all Honda and Acura models will have rearview cameras standard on all models, yet another example of how our company is committed to enhancing the visibility and safety of our customers and everyone on the road."
But the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing automakers, did not endorse the final rule, saying: "Consumers should be in the driver's seat when choosing technologies they want to purchase."
On Monday, the Alliance petitioned NHTSA to allow automakers to use cameras as an option to conventional side and rearview mirrors.
Under the new rules, the annual costs in 2018 will be between $546 million and $924 million, while the benefits will be between $265 million and $595 million.
NHTSA said there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. It said that children under five account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.
Federal safety regulators said 58 to 69 lives are expected to be saved each year once the entire on-road vehicle fleet is equipped with rear-visibility systems.
Edmunds says: Safety advocates are calling this a great move for auto safety — and children. But the new rule will add some cost to your future vehicle.