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Gov't offers new rules for rear visibility in cars


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Gov't offers new rules for rear visibility in cars

Ken Thomas / Associated Press

Washington— Rearview cameras could become more common in future cars and trucks under new rules the government was proposing today to address concerns about drivers unintentionally backing over children.

The Transportation Department was offering new requirements to improve rear visibility in cars by the 2014 model year. Most carmakers would meet the requirements by installing rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays.

Targeting so-called blind zones in large sport utility vehicles and pickups, Congress required the safety upgrades in 2008 in response to dozens of cases of children getting backed over by cars. The legislation was named after Cameron Gulbransen, a 2-year-old New York boy who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him in his 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. He said the changes would "help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up."

Nearly 300 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year because of backovers, according to data kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly half the deaths involve children under age 5 and the crashes also affect the elderly.

Many of the deaths involve busy parents juggling careers and children and toddlers who get behind a parked car, not realizing the inherent dangers. In about 70 percent of the cases, a family member is responsible for the death, said Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Cars, a Kansas-based safety group.

"You're talking about people who love their children more than anyone," Fennell said. "How do you go on if you've killed your own child or grandchild?"

Automakers have been adding video cameras and object detection sensors to vehicles to help drivers when backing up or parking. But the backup cameras are still optional equipment on most vehicles and only about 20 percent of 2010 vehicles have the cameras onboard.

The proposal is expected to be completed next year after a public comment period. Under the plan, 10 percent of the vehicle fleet will need to meet the standards by the 2012 model year, followed by 40 percent in 2013 and all new vehicles by 2014.

The rules will apply to all passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans and other vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101203/AUTO01/12030403/Gov-t-offers-new-rules-for-rear-visibility-in-cars#ixzz173hcusIw

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Some basic FMVSS regs for passable rearward visibility would be nice. In some newer cars with high decklids and large C-pillars, short of climbing out of the car and checking for yourself, there is no way to see if there's anything/anyone immediately behind you to run over.

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I agree with Viper and reg and wait... everybody in here so far. The first car I thought of when I read this was the new CTS coupe. Viper gets his point across at a fast pace with that photo. What good is a completely horizontal back glass? Open up these greenhouses a bit and STOP distracting yourselves! DRIVE! I find the idear of driverless cars absolutely abhorrent, and this is another step toward the darkness.

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This is just a tax, guys. A tax on poor people who probably wouldn't have bought a car equipped with this, but now they're forced to.

Poor people don't buy new cars, so they aren't 'forced to' buy a car w/ a rear view camera.

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IMHO, I think what the cameras would help to avoid running over will be substituted by rear impacts from other motorists hitting them. I had to move a late model Toyota Tacoma for someone. When selecting reverse, I noticed the camera image pop up on the rear view mirror. I looked at it for a second and tried to figure out how it was going to help me when I couldn't see anything else to the side of me. I ended up turning around and backing up, you know, the NORMAL way, and looking once more at the rear view camera to identify how close to a Quad I was coming to before moving forward again. I tend to think stupid people would end up using the camera as a full substitute for checking around for others coming at their vehicle. I'd hope to be wrong, but stupid people never cease to amaze me.

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ect... I lived while these and others were built and never knew of anyone backing over their kids bikes yes kids no. I think this is a modern problem not fastback car problem. We were taught drivers ed, my daughter was "GIVEN" her temps here in OHIO without even a written test much to my horror. I truely understand why we see so many accidents now :nono:

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ect... I lived while these and others were built and never knew of anyone backing over their kids bikes yes kids no. I think this is a modern problem not fastback car problem. We were taught drivers ed, my daughter was "GIVEN" her temps here in OHIO without even a written test much to my horror. I truely understand why we see so many accidents now :nono:

But today's hideously tall trunks are not really like the old school fastbacks... they're worse. You think you have visibility, but its misleading. At least in the old fastbacks, they came down lower that today's high trunk sedans.

Driven several of those cars in your list... they all have better visibility than the new Camaro.

Of course, visibility still don't help all the time... LOL, years ago, I was all bent because I had to toss everything out of my trunk getting something out. I packed everything back in... but got called away before I threw my full size spare tire back in. About an hour later, I go out to the car, running late, the trunk is closed, I start the car and immediately back up like I've backed up a hundred time before... and back right over my spare tire... right under the rear pumpkin... and it was in sand, so I couldn't get off. I was SOOO pissed... out there jacking the car up in the sand to get the damn tire out. We all have our bad days.

A rear camera would not have helped, as it happened too fast, too dark and the tire was off to the side, so as I was turning it was already under the car.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Poor people don't buy new cars, so they aren't 'forced to' buy a car w/ a rear view camera.

Not yet, anyway.

Somehow ... that seems to be where we may be headed ... outlawing older cars altogether. Ugh.

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But today's hideously tall trunks are not really like the old school fastbacks... they're worse. You think you have visibility, but its misleading. At least in the old fastbacks, they came down lower that today's high trunk sedans

It's just poor design--fashion over form. A car should not have the top edge of the decklid four feet off the ground...the beltlines have become absurdly high, the decklids ridiculously short,the side windows way too small. I prefer lower, longer, wider w/ lots of glass..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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