The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposed rule on March 31, 2014 requiring all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds (including SUVs, trucks, buses, and vans) to have “rear-view visibility systems.”
In 2007, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Safety Act, that required the Department of Transportation (DOT) to have a rule in place by 2011, requiring cameras or other backup warning devices on all new cars and trucks by the 2014 model year. Under the rule, all vehicles would have to give the driver a 10-foot by 20-foot viewing zone directly behind the vehicle.
In a 2010 report, NHTSA said that each year 210 people die and 15,000 are injured in light-vehicle backup incidents, with about 31% of the deaths among children under age 5 and 26% among adults over 70.
After multiple delays and a lawsuit against the Obama administration brought by a coalition of car-safety advocates and families touched by tragic back-over accidents, the regulation was finally issued. The rule will be final in 60 days and start phasing in on May 1, 2016 models, to be 100% by May 1, 2018.
NHTSA estimates that, by the final deadline of 2018, 73% of light vehicles will already voluntarily have rear-view cameras. The cost per vehicle to equip the remainder will be $132 to $142 for a complete system and $43 to $45 to add the camera to a vehicle that already has an adequate display screen.