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Thanks to recently passsed federal legislation, every single new car sold in America is now required to have a backup camera with video display installed as a standard feature. The move is aimed to prevent deaths when people (often kids) are rolled over because a driver backing up can’t see them.
This move isn’t exactly catching automakers by surprise though, as the law comes after 2008 legislation that required regulators to adapt new technology to improve rearview visibility. In 2014, the Department of Transportation announced the camera requirement, giving auto makers a few years to get ready.
While almost all high end and even mid class models already have rearview cameras (and ones that don’t have it standars almosy always have it as an option) the technology will now become standard in even the most affordable cars.
Some experts believe the auto industry pushed back for a few years because they make so much money on “upgrades” like dash cams, and if it becomes required, that cuts in to their bottom line. Either way, the dash cams are coming.
Cathy Chase, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said that the new law was a “monumental advancement of safety for children, pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users.”
Backup/rollover accidents kill more than 200 people every year, and injure anoter 12,000, and experts hope cameras will reduce those by at least 50%.
As backup cams start to be required, it brings the question – are automatic emergency braking systems or dash cams next? 20 automakers have promised to make braking systems standard on their vehicles by the year 2022, and some auto experts think dash cams are next in line for legislation. As we see more and more stories of drivers being cleared of charges thanks to dash cams, it’s a move that makes sense.