Federal government may require back-up cameras in cars by 2014

It happens rarely, but when it does happen it’s tragic. The government estimates about 100 lives per year will be saved and up to 8,000 injuries could be prevented if all vehicles had back-up cameras. How they determined half of the deaths would be prevented with government-mandated back-up cameras, I don’t know, but the mantra from government seems always to be if it saves one life

Can kids be safe in a car? Can kids be safe on a school bus? Can kids safely play in the driveway? Is it safe to walk in a parking lot? How about in a pool?

I’d be comfortable saying kids are more than 99.99 percent safe in all of the above situations, yet still unfortunate accidents will happen. Along with the fact these federal mandates are unconstitutional, these regulations are generally born from high-profile incidents where statists demand the government does something. Instead of providing a teachable moment for politicians and leaders, they provide for another never let a crisis go to waste opportunity to implement a federal mandate. From CNN.

The rule was demanded by legislation passed in 2007, called Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The act was named after a 2-year-old boy who was killed, when his father accidentally backed over him in the family’s driveway.

“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,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. “The changes we are proposing today will help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles, to make sure it is safe to back up.”

To be clear, if the market wants to have back-up cameras in their cars, manufactures will provide that option. They have already begun to do so. Why does the government have to mandate this?

My neighbors daughter was ran over in a parking lot in December. Her leg was broken, but she’ll be OK. The driver was older and hit the gas instead of the break. A back-up camera would not have stopped this accident. I frequently wonder if the back-up cameras will result in other types of accidents while the driver concentrates on the dashboard screen instead of the kid riding his bike down the sidewalk.

Exit question: What’s the difference between the federal government mandating back-up cameras in cars to prevent tragic accidents, and the federal government mandating kids wear life jackets when swimming in backyard swimming pools to prevent tragic accidents?

11 replies
  1. Sad4CT
    Sad4CT says:

    This is so over the top and rediculous, I don’t even know where to begin.? I drive an Envoy…? I don’t need a back up camera.? My nephew drives a KIA… a very small car…? He doesn’t need a back up camera.? Driving by one of our local schools, there was some sort of hybrid vehicle in the parking lot…? I don’t know what kind of a car it is.? It sort of looks like a miniature VW bug.? The car can’t be more than?5 feet front to back…? It doesn’t need a back up camera.

    NTSB is supposed to be submitting this proposed legislation sometime soon.? Lets hope congress has the brains not to pass it.? If they want to make a back up camera an option that people can CHOOSE to purchase when they by a new vehicle, that’s fine.? But to force it on all of us is just another example of over-the-top government intrusion into our lives.

    I wonder whose brother-in-law is in the camera business.

  2. phil
    phil says:

    Save a lot more lives if we changed the ‘Motorists must stop for pedestrians in crosswalk’ with ‘Pedestrians must look both ways before crossing street.’? The motorist must stop law is almost universally interpreted as, “I’m walkin’, you stop!? Parking lot, middle of the block, don’t matter.? I the guy, you the car.? Sorry. That round thing followin’ you around? That’s your butt.? It’s YOUR job to take care of it.? Not mine!

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      I hate that rule!!!

      The problem is that dopey liberal-esque pedestrians don’t know what the signs, and the law, actually say.?Therefore they just walk right out into the street assuming?they have the right to be reckless.

      ?The law was intended to have cars stop for pedestrians ALREADY IN THE CROSSWALK so that people did?not have to stop halfway across and wait again in the middle of the street for traffic to clear in the other direction???

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    And who is going to mandate that the cameras be kept clean so they can work?? You’ve all seen it: the cars driving along, with the rear windows, brake lights and headlights covered with snow.? What about them?
    ?
    The camera lenses must necessarily be located somewhere above the bumper, and during winter, snow, salt, sand etc. accumulate all over the back of the car, rendering these cameras fairly useless.? The ultrasonic sensors would make more sense, helping with parking as well, and they are far less sensitive to road dirt covering their sensors.
    ?
    This is yet another feel good homage to a “risk free society” that liberals so strive for.? How about some common sense, i.e. why is a two year old left unattended in the driveway in the first place?

  4. kateinmaine
    kateinmaine says:

    1.? has the practice of teaching kids to walk in front of vehicles been totally abandoned?? 2. is this the beginning of the environmentally friendly mandate to drive backwards, saving energy and maintaining high car values through low mileage? 3)? it’s already a metaphor for the administration.

  5. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    I must have won the lottery of life because I have ability to turn and by swiveling my head, can look behind me when backing my car.? Amazing.? In addition, every vehicle I’ve ever driven had mirrors!? YMMV

  6. Sad4CT
    Sad4CT says:

    In another forum, I have been seriously beaten up on this issue.? Everyone at the other place seems to think it’s the best idea since sliced bread.? Some have driven rental vehicles or had loaners that had the backup cameras and they loved them and can’t understand why anyone would be opposed to them.? I just couldn’t make them understand that I have nothing against the backup cameras per se…? What I am against is the government mandating that they be included on every vehicle.? They should simply be an option available to anyone who wants them.? They should not be forced on everyone else.

    • Steve M
      Steve M says:

      Go back over there and tell them the government should mandate kids must wear lifejackets in private, back yard pools. It would be totally awesome since no kids would drown. You know how many kids drown in backyard pools as to compared to getting run over by a car backing down a driveway?

      You’re absolutely right, the government does not need to mandate it. As they have realized, if they like it, they will ask for it and buy it.

  7. JBS
    JBS says:

    I would prefer to be able to buy it as an option, if I wanted it.
    There is too much nanny state. I’ve seen it in Beemers and it looks like a distraction.

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