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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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The Federal Government Needs To Act On Back Up Cameras

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has found that more than 200 people are killed and 17,000 injured every year in "back over" crashes when drivers back over objects in the blind spot behind them. Bigger cars and SUVs have blind spots that the driver just can't address. The remedy is a backup camera.

In December of 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a proposed rule and set out to meet a February 2011 deadline for enacting it. On-board cameras, NHTSA said at the time, could cut in half deaths and injuries due to backing crashes, at a cost of about $159 to $203 per vehicle, or about $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion a year for the nation's 16.6 million fleet of new vehicles. (The price has since fallen, advocates say.)

However, the Department of Transportation twice extended the deadline, first to December of 2011, and again to February of 2012, a deadline it has missed. The DOT said the extensions were necessary because of the "large volume of public comments and the complexity of some of the issues."

Clearly the auto manufactures are standing in the way of what is another safety measure. As was pointed out by Joan Claybrook, former NHTSA administrator and chair emeritus of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, "After all, you must remember, they (carmakers) were against seat belts, they were against airbags, they were against rollover protection technology and other safety measures."

With every death the number of reasons for the change increases, Each of these deaths could be prevented at a small cost and action. It is time to get this done.