Rear View Regulations

Battery-operated mirrors mandated starting in 2016

Andy Bolig - April 02, 2014 01:39 PM


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As you can imagine, this issue has been a hotbed of debate ever since it was introduced in 2008.

There are two types of drivers on the roads today, those who don’t fully trust their mirrors, and those who don’t use them.

According to recent legislation passed by the U.S. DOT, a set of federal standards for rear visibility will require all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds to have backup cameras by mid-2018. Starting in May 2016, manufacturers are required to have compliant rearview cameras in 10% of the cars they manufacture, that number goes to 40% in May 2017 and finally, by 2018, one-hundred percent of the cars manufactured will need to have the rear-facing cameras installed.

The rules dictate that drivers be able to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone behind the vehicle. NHTSA estimates the cost of installing the required equipment in 2018 vehicles to be around $132-$142 dollars. If such vehicles were already equipped with display screens, the cost to integrate the cameras brings the total to an estimated $42-$45 per vehicle.

As you can imagine, this issue has been a hotbed of debate ever since it was introduced in 2008. Advocates for “safety at any cost” hailed the decision while “personal responsibility” types see it as another cost-increasing extra that is better suited on the options list and not included in the standard vehicle pricing.  The DOT proposed regulations in 2010 but the rulings were delayed several times over cost concerns.

The recent ruling was released one day before the current administration was scheduled to defend itself in federal circuit court against safety advocates who had sued the government over the delays. If you would like to share your views on the subject, or have a personal experience you would like to share, feel free to let us know in the comments below. Just like with a dash display screen, we’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.