The National Highway Safety Institute has set in place a law that will require that all vehicles come equipped with rear-view cameras, a measure that — if 100 percent effective — will prevent 228 American deaths each year at a cost of about $12 million each to American auto buyers.
According to The New York Times, in a preliminary version of the measure released for public comment, regulators predicted that adding the cameras and viewing screens will cost the auto industry as much as $2.7 billion a year, or $160 to $200 a vehicle. Some of the cost is expected to be passed on to consumers through higher prices.
Government statistics say that 228 people — 44 percent of whom are younger than 5 — die each year after being backed over by passenger vehicles. About 17,000 people a year are injured in such accidents.
Critics of the measure say that efforts to encourage Americans to pay more attention would be a much more effective way of avoiding tragedies without putting in place yet another auto-industry mandate to reduce the competitiveness of American autos.
Reason reports: “…Legislators put minimum effort into finding the most cost-efficient solution to this problem and failed to consider that car design isn’t really their job in the first place. Clearly, when considering the fact that most backover accidents involve the parent or relative of a child, the right course of action would be legislation that prohibits parents and relatives of children from driving in the first place.”