New rear view visibility rule to protect kids, elders

  • 07-Dec-2010 02:23 EST

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a regulation to help eliminate blind spots behind vehicles that can hide the presence of pedestrians, especially young children and the elderly. The proposed rule was required by Congress as part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007. The proposal expands the required field of view so that drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when it is in reverse. It applies to all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses, and low-speed vehicles weighing up to 10,000 lb. Rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays would be one way to meet the proposed rule. If adopted as proposed, the rule would require that 10% of new vehicles comply by September 2012, 40% by September 2013, and 100% by September 2014. NHTSA estimates that, on average, 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur each year as a result of back-over crashes involving all vehicles. Comments on the proposed rule are due Feb. 7, 2011. The proposal and information about how to submit comments is available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/Rear_Visibility_NPRM_12032010.pdf.

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