A rule that would compel the installation of backup cameras in new vehicles sold in the United States has been delayed until 2015. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the delay in a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. In the letter, LaHood said that more analysis of the cost of the rule is necessary before a mandate could be issued. The agency had said the rule would cost $2.7 billion or up to $18 million per life saved. Prior to the most recent delay, the agency had already delayed the three times. Carmakers have complained about the rule's cost.
They also complained that while the proposed rule would apply to all vehicles, it only makes sense for larger ones. Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, remarked that carmakers are installing cameras in cars for greater vision and for new driver assists, noting that only consumers should decide how “best to spend their safety dollars on these technologies."
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers includes General Motors and Toyota as its members. The backup camera rule was required by a 2008 auto-safety law that signed by President George W. Bush. It was named for a New York boy who died after his father accidentally backed over him.
Meanwhile, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering giving incentives in their safety ratings to vehicles installed with backup carmakers. In a Federal Register notice, the regulator asked for comments on whether it should include incentives for backup cameras in its New Car Assessment Program. [source: Bloomberg]