The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that any new automobile produced on or after May 1, 2018 will be required to have rear-view cameras in order to increase visibility. The cameras will have to display a 10-foot by 20-foot field of view on a digital screen that can be seen on the vehicle’s dashboard.

The ruling relates to all vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds, including all trucks and buses.

rear-view camera

The new directive comes as a result of the figures relating to ‘backover crashes’. In the United States an average of 210 people are killed every year, as well as 15,000 being injured. More upsetting is the fact that almost one third of the deaths are children under the age of five, while around one fourth of fatalities are adults over 70 years of age.

The legislation has finally been pushed through following a number of delays, mainly since automobile manufacturers are already incorporating camera technology into their base models. The key focus is on increasing safety when reversing a car but the feature also aids with parallel parking and getting a car out of a tight parking spot.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors. As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

“Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “We’re already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today.”

[Image via dailytech]