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Government Wants All Cars to Have Rearview Cameras by 2014

rear view cameraOn Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a new set of rules that would require all future cars to come equipped with rearview video cameras. The cameras, according to governmental officials, could greatly increase rear visibility, thereby decreasing the risk of running over toddlers or elderly pedestrians when backing up. As the AP reports, only about 20-percent of all 2010 model cars currently have rearview cameras, but the government's proposal would require that all vehicles have them by model year 2014. The government estimates that the new requirements, overall, would cost about $1.9 to $2.7 billion to implement, and that the average car buyer would have to shell out an extra $200 for a camera-equipped ride.

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, though, these costs pale in comparison to the grave risks that they would offset. "There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," LaHood said. The department's proposed regulations, on the other hand, would "help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up."

Each year, nearly 300 people are killed and 18,000 are injured by cars backing up into them, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly half of those deaths involve children aged 5 years or younger. The Department of Transportation, however, claims that mandated rearview cameras could save anywhere from 95 to 112 lives, and prevent more than 7,000 injuries each year.

Tags: accident, car, DepartmentOfTransportation, law, politics, RayLahood, RearViewCamera, regulation, security, top, transportation