Plan to Make Back-Up Cameras Mandatory by 2014 Delayed

A plan that would see back-up cameras installed in all vehicles by 2014 will take longer to roll out than originally planned. According to a recent report by The Detroit News, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Congress for an extension in order to look over information gathered from a recent pubic comment period before creating a plan.

Originally tabled in December, NHTSA says that on average 300 deaths per year are attributable to cars that accidentally back over a person, with a third of those being children under the age of five and a third those over 70.

At the time NHTSA said the cost to install a back up camera in a car without a display screen would range from $159 to $203 per vehicle, while cars with navigation systems in place would only see an increase of $58 to $88. This would amount to a total industry cost of $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion annually.

Upon further study, NHTSA has revealed that the “cost-per-life” cost-benefit analysis breaks down to anywhere from $11.3 million to $72.2 million spent per life saved, well beyond its “comprehensive cost estimate for a statistical life of $6.1 million.”

This new data may put NHTSA’s initial plans to implement mandatory back-up cameras by 2014 in jeopardy and it’s not yet clear that if the agency still pushes ahead with its original plans, how much longer it will now take.