Were you aware that the United States (US) government recently passed a law that will require all new cars and light trucks sold in the United States to have rear-view cameras by May 2018? This regulation is intended to reduce the number of deaths by helping to prevent drivers from backing into pedestrians.
The government agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that the new requirement will apply to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), including buses and trucks. In the US, some 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year are caused by back up accidents, according to NHTSA statistics.
Approximately 210 people are killed and 15,000 are injured in backover crashes every year in the United States. Slightly less than half the victims are children under the age five - too small to be seen from the driver's seat. A government analysis has shown that about half of the victims could have been saved by a backup camera.
Cameras must be able to give drivers a 10-foot-by-20-foot (3-metre-by-6-metre) field of view directly behind the vehicle.
At this time, there is nothing on the books for Canada; for more than 100 plus years, Canadians have managed reasonably well by glancing over their shoulders before putting their vehicle into reverse.
There are a couple of recent new “innovations” of rear-view technology.
Japanese auto manufacturer, Nissan is taking things to a different level, adding the benefits of a camera into to the rear-view mirror itself. Their OEM "smart rear-view mirror" looks very much like a standard mirror, but when the driver flips a switch, a much clearer view of what's behind the vehicle is shown, “communicated” from a camera in the rear windshield. The intent? No more struggling to see past tall passengers, headrests, luggage or even cargo. The actual mirror itself meets federal regulations and is available if the camera ever fails, or if the customer prefers to go “old school” and use the mirror as it was originally intended.
Further, a technology manufacturer in China has produced a rear-view mirror that also displays video images taken with two high-definition cameras; one pointing forward, the other to the rear. Not only that, it is also a digital recording device and has the ability to act as a GPS tracking device for the vehicle. The intent is for the forward camera, when activated, to act much like a dash-cam. When you vehicle is put into reverse, however, the rear camera acts like an after-market rear-view camera. This equipment is an after-market add-on and may be installed by anyone with reasonable knowledge and competency in electrical wiring.