By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has directed automakers to install rearview camera systems by 2018 on all new vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs. The equipment is intended to prevent accidents by alerting drivers when pedestrians are behind the vehicles. The new rule was required under a law passed in 2008. While the law permitted sensors, mirrors or other devices to provide drivers with rearward information, NHTSA ultimately determined that a camera and dashboard display screen system was the best solution. As of 2012, about 44% of new cars included rear cameras as standard equipment and another 27% offered the equipment as an option.
The new rule will be phased in over two years, with 10% of all subject vehicles required to have compliant rearview systems by May 1, 2016, 40% by May 1, 2017, and 100% by May 1, 2018. The camera system is to provide a 10x20-ft. field of view. The rule applies to automobiles, buses and trucks weighing less than 10,000 lbs. but not motorcycles or trailers.
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