NHTSA Asks Congress for More Time to Finalize Backup Camera Regulations

The Detroit News reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking more time to finalize rules that require automakers to have rear visibility cameras in all new cars by 2014. The NHTSA says the new rules could prevent almost 300 backup accidents and save the lives of more than 100 people a year, most of them young children, but want more time to finalize the rules, which were supposed to have been ready on Saturday, February 26.

What’s the holdup?

The auto industry claims it will cost up to $2.7 billion annually with a cost per vehicle between $150 and $200 for the rear visibility cameras. If the vehicle already has a screen in the dashboard, it will cost about half. The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers asked the NHTSA for more time.

Using a risk versus benefit calculation, the NHTSA estimates the cost of the new regulation will outstrip the cost of lives saved if you calculate that one life is worth about $6.1 million. This cost-benefit analysis is how laws are frequently made, regardless of the value of the life of your loved ones.

The parents of Cameron Gulbransen felt the new legislation was worth saving one life. The little boy was killed in the driveway when his father accidentally backed over him. The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act required the backup cameras on 40 percent of new cars by 2013.

The other part of the Act was the requirement of adding an auto-reversing mechanism to power windows so that little heads and hands would not be crushed, saving about 2 lives and preventing 850 injuries a year, according to the NHTSA.

In a further concession to the auto industry, Bloomberg reports that the plan for the automatic reversal on electric window has been scrapped by the NHTSA. The auto safety group Kids and Cars had pushed for the rule but the auto industry said implementation would cost from $6 to $8 a window.

The Florida car accident lawyers at Farah & Farah feel that a few extra dollars per car are worth the life of a child. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective automobile or were involved in a car crash, either as a passenger or a pedestrian, our personal injury attorneys will offer you a free consultation on your case. Call us today at 1-800-533-3555.