A new rule released Monday will require rear view cameras in new vehicles under 10,000 pounds to help prevent drivers from backing into people, according to a news release from Kids and Cars Inc.
Even with using three mirrors, drivers cannot see anything in a blind zone of 10 feet to 40 feet long behind their vehicle, the news release states.
More than 200 people are killed and 15,000 are injured from these type of crashes each year, the news release states, citing the U.S. Department of Transportation as the source of those numbers. Many of the victims are children under 5 and adults 70 or older.
The U.S. Department of Transportation was expected to issue the safety standard a long time ago, Kids and Cars said in the news release.
In 2008, Congress had directed the federal agency to issue a rear visibility standard for vehicles by 2011. But that did not happen and a lawsuit was filed. The standard was issued Monday, one day before a court was set to hear arguments in the case, the news release stated.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said in its release that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “took time on this regulation to ensure that the policy was right and make the rule flexible and achievable.”
The federal government, Kids and Cars and advocates for the change say the rule will help to save lives.
“This is the first federal regulation of rear visibility in our nation’s history. It’s about time the motoring public will finally be able to see what’s behind their vehicles while backing up,” Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org, said in the news release. “This measure will most definitely save children’s lives.”
The cameras will need to be installed in new vehicles on or after May 1, 2018, the federal news release states.