New Cars May Get a Safety Tune-Up

7 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago Saturday, December 04 2010 Dec 4, 2010 Saturday, December 04, 2010 4:43:30 AM CST December 04, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - New cars may have a mandatory safety upgrade come late 2014. The Department of Transportation announced today that it's considering implementing a safety regulation, possibly making rear-view cameras mandatory equipment in all new vehicles.

The actual proposal is to enforce all vehicles to have a 180-degree viewing field, which would ultimately mean having a rear-view camera. The new regulation idea comes from the Department's concern with the number of yearly car accidents involving a car backing into someone. The Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), which proposed the rule change, estimates an average of almost 300 fatalities and 18 thousand injuries from such accidents.

NHTSA proposed the rule change in hopes of eliminating drivers' blind spots. The change is a requirement of Congress as part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007.

Head Motors general sales manager, Steve Rennells, said if the change does happen, he expects it to effect his flow of customers.

"I think I'd feel more comfortable," Rennells said. "If it were the sensors I could understand versus the cameras... I think [the sensors would] cost a lot less than it would be using the cameras."

Despite the cost, some car dealers say many customers give positive feedback on the special safety feature. "A lot of people are having a lot more ease when they're parking," said Head Motors sales specialist, Jarrad Shull. "[It] makes it a lot nicer and you can see a lot more around you."

If the proposal gains enough support to make a safety regulation change, car dealers and motorists could see some change as early as 2012. The regulation proposers wouldn't expect the full rule change to go into effect until 2014.

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