New cars built after May 1, 2018 and sold in the USA will have to be fitted with a rear-view camera, after US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations from 2014 finally came into force.
The rule, which requires "all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from back over accidents", was driven by vocal safety advocates.
Those same advocates actually sued the US DOT in 2013, after the deadline for its introduction was repeatedly pushed back. George W. Bush actually directed the body to overhaul rear visibility rules in 2008, and gave it three years to achieve reform.
That deadline was repeatedly revised by the DOT, before being finalised in 2014.
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 300 people are killed and more than 15,000 are injured in American reversing accidents. Nearly half of those killed are younger than five years old.
Along with rear-view cameras, there are research bodies pushing for more safety equipment to be standard on all vehicles.
Research by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says autonomous-emergency braking could cut rear-end accidents by 50 per cent, while blind-spot monitoring could slice lane-change smashes by 13 per cent.
"NHTSA prioritises safety on US roads, and today we’ve reached an important milestone,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King told ABC News USA in a statement.
“This technology helps drivers see behind the vehicle, which we anticipate will help save lives and prevent injuries.”
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