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Feds May Mandate Backup Cameras

High-tech solution may be only answer to new rear visibility standards.

by on Dec.03, 2010

Backup cameras are becoming increasingly common but may be mandated under proposed safety rules.

Hoping to reduce inadvertent accidents when motorists back up – in particular, when driver can’t see  children standing behind their vehicles, federal regulators are proposing new rear visibility standards that – for all intents – would likely require the use of back-up cameras in most or all cars by 2014.

As many as 300 people are killed each year, and 18,000 injured, in what are known as “backovers,” when a driver can’t see what’s behind a vehicle.  Nearly half those deaths involve children under the age of 5 who may simply be too small to be spotted by even the most vigilant driver.

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“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,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The proposed legislation is being named after Cameron Gulbranson, who was killed when his father failed to spot the 2-year-old boy while backing out of the family driveway.