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Federal Government Announces Another Delay in Establishing Regulations to Reduce the Number of Back-Over Accidents

The federal government is delaying regulations again on whether new automobiles must come equipped with rearview cameras, which protect people who may be in drivers’ blind spots as drivers reverse their vehicles. This delay serves as a victory for auto manufacturers who say the cameras are just too costly. Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, sent letters to three members of Congress on Thursday that said more research is needed. LaHood set January 2015 as the new deadline for the regulations.

Each year, approximately 17,000 people are injured and 228 killed as a result of back-over accidents. Many of these accidents occur in parking lots and driveways. Children and the elderly are the most frequent victims of these accidents, with over half of the deaths involving children under the age of ten. The emotional toll of these accidents is often very high because many of the drivers are parents or family members of those injured and killed. Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said, “The fact is simple – we know installing rear cameras in cars will prevent injury and death.” He urged the Obama administration to move forward with the regulations and mandate that rearview cameras be installed in all new vehicles because children’s lives are at risk.

In 2008, Congress passed a law that required the government to issue final regulations that will protect against back-over accidents by February 28, 2011, and have the regulations in place for model year 2014 automobiles. However, the regulations have continually been delayed. The law that Congress passed in 2008 did not require that mandatory rearview cameras be a part of the regulations, so long as another solution was provided. But, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study of backup-accidents more than two years ago and found that rearview cameras were the best solution and recommended that they be installed in all new automobiles. NHTSA estimated that requiring the cameras in all new automobiles would add $58 to $88 more to the price of vehicles already equipped with dashboard screens and $159 to $203 more for vehicles without the screens.

Gov’t delays requiring rearview cameras in cars, June 20, 2013

Automakers have fought back against the idea of requiring rearview cameras in all new automobiles, saying it would cost them $2.7 billion annually. According to automotive research firm Edmunds, forty-four percent of 2012 model vehicles came equipped with rearview cameras and twenty-seven percent had them as options. Market research firm iSuppli reported that nine in ten new vehicles had console screens available, which would put the price of installing rearview cameras at the lower end of the NHTSA estimates. According to Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, “Automakers are providing cameras in cars today for greater vision and for new driver assists, and consumers should decide how best to spend their safety dollars. This is a decision for consumers.”

Safety features are a must for new vehicles and consumers should have access to information that helps them understand the value of these safety features. The Coral Gables consumer advocates at the Friedland | Carmona value your safety. The Broward automobile accident lawyers have over twenty years of experience helping clients recover for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an unsafe vehicle or any other type of motor vehicle accident, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona today. Don’t hesitate as the law places strict time limits on these types of claims. Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation.

The Miami product liability lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries.

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