Legislation Requiring Rear-Facing Cameras Costs Billions, is it Worth it?
Legislation requiring all cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to have rear-facing ‘backup’ cameras has been pushed back a second time. The legislation was originally signed in 2008 and now will not go into affect until the end of 2012.
And that could be a good thing.
While the rule is designed to prevent individuals from being run over by vehicles backing up, predominantly very young children and the elderly, it is also one of the most expensive pending legislations.
At an estimated cost of $2.7 billion for fleet of 16.6 million vehicles and approximately 292 deaths occurring each year from being backed over by a car or truck, that means each life saved is approximately worth $18.5 million.
Is that worth it?
Of course every life saved is worth it, but consider that the article also states that because of this legislation, the price of cars will go up $58 to $203. Can the auto industry, and the economy in general, afford that seeing as it is still on shaky ground?
Perhaps those billions of dollars could be spent on driver education or a safety campaign? The government even admits they need more information before implementing this rule (the reason the pushed it back):
“While the department has made progress toward a final rule to improve rearward visibility, it has decided that further study and data analysis — including of a wider range of vehicles and drivers — is important to ensure the most protective and efficient rule possible,” the agency said in its statement.
There are gut-wrenching and heartbreaking facts and stories of people, especially children, being harmed (50) and killed each week (two) by a vehicle that was backing up. If my child was saved by a rear-facing camera, I would absolutely say this billions dollar cost was worth it. But if I were going to be in the market for a car in the next year, I may not be so sure.
What do you think?