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NHTSA Delays Ruling on Making Back-Up Cameras Mandatory

At the end of 2010 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it was considering a proposal to require all passenger vehicles to install back-up cameras to limit back-over accidents.  Last week, however, the NHTSA announced it has postponed ruling on the mandatory requirements saying it needs to conduct “further study and data analysis.”

The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was named for a child who was killed by his father as he was backing out of his driveway not realizing the two-year-old boy was playing behind the vehicle.   The ruling would be especially beneficial in protecting the lives of children, the elderly, and hearing and sight impaired pedestrians.

At the time the change was recommended, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said:  “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.”

The NHTSA introduced the requirement to expand the field of view for all passenger cars, so that drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when in reverse. The NHTSA estimates nearly 300 people die and 18,000 are injured each year as a result of back-over crashes involving all vehicles.

According to the New York Times, now the NHTSA has announced it has postponed releasing details of the mandate until late this year.  “The department remains committed to improving rearview visibility for the nation’s fleet and we expect to complete our work and issue a final rule by Dec. 31, 2012,” said LaHood in a statement issued late Tuesday.

The New York Times estimates that rearview cameras are available on 45% of current model vehicles.  The NHTSA estimates that cameras could add approximately $200 to the cost of a vehicle, “or a total of $2.7 billion for the auto industry.”

Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys applaud all efforts by the government to save our most vulnerable pedestrians.  We also encourage PA drivers to be alert for children and all pedestrians behind their cars when backing up.

About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., has offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Stroudsburg, Carbondale, Plains, Hazleton and Hamlin. To contact the law firm, call (800) 318-LAW1 or visit the firm’s online contact form.

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