Back-Up Cameras To Be Mandatory

In the good old US of A, the National Highways and Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) has announced that as of 1 May 2018, all new vehicles under 10 000 pounds (or cars, to me and you) will have to be fitted with a Back-Up camera (aka Reversing Camera, to those of us that speak English).

Already many cars come with the new reversing aid as a standard or optional feature. In fact, the posh end of Toyota, Lexus, already has them on all of their vehicles as standard kit. When the driver puts the vehicle into reverse (or should we say, back-up-mode), a display shows a video image on a screen in the dashboard of the car. Some vehicles have additional software that overlay trajectory and distance information indicating the path of the car depending on how the wheels are aligned.

The new legislation was mandated by congress and intended to stop the 210 fatalities and around 15 000 injuries as a result of these ‘back-up accidents’ every year. In the announcement, the NHTSA noted that 31% of all these accidents involved children under 5 years old. “Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur,” NHTSA’s Acting Administrator, David Friedman, said in a statement.

The new NHTSA requirement has said that the field of view should be at least 10 feet wide but has not announced how long the image should remain on the screen or how big the screen has to be. Of course, this news is a great relief to all of us that have been only able to use our rear-view and side mirrors to move safely in a rearward direction for all of these years.


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