As on 1st May 2018, every manufacturer will have to have a reversing camera and a display screen installed in their vehicles which are weighing 10,000 pounds (4536 kgs) or less. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulation issued on Monday, the rule comes in favour of pedestrian safety, which was under scrutiny due to the accidents caused by driver’s backing up out of driveways with obstructed field of vision.
The new rule states that the rear view camera should cover at least a field view of 10 feet by 20 feet, directly behind the vehicle. The implementation of the rule was being delayed for a few years ever since its approval in 2011, due to cost concerns back then. However, the rule will now be applicable in a phased manner across the US over the next few years. Automakers will be required to offer the mandatory reversing camera in at least 10 percent of their vehicles from 1st May 2016 to 1st May 2017; and finally complete the task to a 100 percent by 1st May 2018.
Installing a reversing camera and a display screen will cost between $132 (Rs. 7914/-) and $142 (Rs. 5814/-) for each car in 2018. For cars that already have a usable screen, the cost will shrink down to $43-45 (Rs. 2576-2696/-) per car. Currently several manufacturers offer a reversing camera and display screen as a standard or an optional feature in most models. It is expected that the feature will be standardised to meet with the new rule, at least in the U.S. in the future.
The major number of fatalities in backup accidents includes senior citizens over the age of 70 years as well as children under the age of five. On an average 15,000 people are injured and around 210 people lose their lives every year after being hit by a reversing vehicle. NHTSA says the new rule will help save at least 68 to 69 lives each year once fully implemented. In India though, we still are battling out the need for structurally durable cars and the massive absence of basic safety features like airbags and ABS in all our vehicles. However, neither the manufacturers or the government seem to give any due importance towards it.