Years late, the Transportation Department issued a rule today that will require rearview technology in all new cars and many light trucks—an effort to reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by backup accidents. NHTSA said the new rule, required in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, will save between 13 to 15 lives per year and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries annually. The measure, signed into law with bipartisan support in 2008, was named for a 2-year-old Long Island boy whose pediatrician father backed over him in their driveway in 2002. It's been delayed for years past various deadlines.
The final rule will require all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds and built beginning May 1, 2018, to meet the new rear-visibility standards, except for motorcycles and trailers. In the US, 44% of 2012 models came with rear cameras standard, and 27% had them as options, according to the automotive research firm Edmunds. "This day has been a long time coming, and we urge automakers to move quickly to beat the 2018 deadline," said a Consumers Union official. Backup accidents involving light vehicles cause an average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries a year, and victims often are children and the elderly. (Read more camera stories.)