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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory 518

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the because-using-your-mirrors-is-hard dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Department of Transportation issued a new rule (PDF) on Monday requiring car manufacturers to include rearview cameras in all cars manufactured after May 1, 2018. The rule applies to all cars weighing less than 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, but does not include motorcycles and trailers. '[The cameras] must give drivers a field of vision measuring at least 10 by 20 feet directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including dashboard image size, lighting conditions and display time.' An estimated 13 to 15 deaths and 1,125 injuries may be prevented with the implementation of this new requirement."
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

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  • Good.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:13AM (#46629161)

    They can include a dash cam and side view cameras as well along with an interface that allows me to copy filmed material to an SD card or something... That would have saved me twice from getting stuck with being 50 percent at fault (both times the other driver ignored a red light).

  • Re:13 deaths? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plover (150551) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:15AM (#46629553) Homepage Journal

    Umm... this law is a direct result of that testing process you referred to in the phrase "time-tested". Time has shown that there are about 300 deaths per year due to backing over people. Time has also shown backup cameras to be highly effective at preventing these deaths. Backup cameras fix the "bug" (the blind spot behind and below the trunk of the car.)

    If you think this makes a car too expensive, what price do you put on accidentally running over a human being? Let's say a dead person costs $6 million. (That was the price a few years ago from my state, who figured out the amount they'd spend on an unsafe road to fix the problem after a fatality.) If you were to spread the price of 300 dead people (6*300 = 1.8 billion dollars) and divide by the number of cars sold in the US per year (estimating 20 million) that works out to $90 per car sold. Multiply that by an average 10 year lifetime of a car and it works out to $900 per car. If a camera costs less than that, it's cheaper for society to require them to fix the problem.

    Mathematically, it's cheaper to require the cameras than to live with the deaths they could prevent.

  • Re:Grabs popcorn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @10:49AM (#46630315)

    How about costing millions a year for 12-15 theoretical deaths?

    That's assuming people USE the backup camera. After all, don't we already have THREE MIRRORS?

    Are you seriously going to use that excuse? Seriously? Now I want you to tell me that with those three mirrors, you have a view of everything behind you.

    There are few investments with such a poor return.

    Nothing on a car is an investment, You use that word. I don't think you know what it means.

    How about all the deaths caused by people driving old, worn-out cars without proven safety features like air bags

    So people driving cars without airbags are killing people? By the way, airbags occasionally kill people. That's a lot of violence going on when one of them actuates. Lots of broken noses, burns, and broken arms are not all that unusual. A backup camera is pretty benign by comparison. Even so, Airbags save more people than they kill or hurt.

    because they can't afford expensive new cars with mandatory cameras?

    Starting to have a little trouble parsing you. Seems like you are arguing against your point.

    How about wanting a simple, well-organized instrument cluster, but instead you have a big LCD screen in the middle that's useless except for the .1% of the time you're backing up?

    To attempt to answer what I think you are trying to say, Who on earth would put a monitor in the middle of an instrument cluster? My backup camera is in the middle of the top of the dashboard. It only comes on when I am in reverse. At that point I am stopped, or nearly so. The rearward cam takes no more than a glance, just like I do with the mirrors. Doesn't interfere with anything. And its not on when I'm moving forward.

    Because it's not like the auto makers are going to throw in touch-screen climate controls and entertainment systems for free.

    I truly am not following this line of reasoning.

    Instead, your conventional controls are going to be squeezed into an inconvenient area with tiny controls you can't reach, so when you try to shut off the radio you rear-end someone.

    As noted before, it isn't that way. I have no idea how a little screen in an area away from the instrument cluster, and is only on when I am in reverse is going to cause me to rear end someone. Seriously, your hatred of these devices, and the objections you raise that have no basis in fact, are showing that you might be advised to look into them before you condemn them.

    Otherwise it would not be incorrect to say you are just pulling shit out of your hat.

  • by eepok (545733) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:54AM (#46630881) Homepage

    Of the 34,000+ people that died on the road in automobile-involved collisions (2012), this is a very small population to target. We can do a lot better than that.

    Here's a list of technologies that would better to mandate in the name road safety:

    ** Automatic braking systems (
    ** Hardware Speed Limiters
    ** GPS-controlled in-dash speed limit display (shows the speed limit for your road/area in the dash)
    ** Veering Alerts (use of radar to sense when one is veering out of lane/off the road and sets off an alarm)
    ** Mandatorily installed, but optionally activated automobile black boxes. If your insurance provider wants to offer an incentive for proof of your safe driving, activate the black box, and provide monthly, quarterly, or yearly updates.

    Here's a list of policy changes that would change driver behavior and thus decrease the yearly death/injury toll:

    ** Revised road funding policy that combines gas tax, vehicle weight, and vehicle miles traveled to better fund the roads.
    ** Vulnerable Road Users Law that would put the assumption of fault (along with extra penalties) on the automobile driver when a pedestrian, bicyclist, horse rider is injured or killed by an automobile on the road.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell