(USA TODAY) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just issued a regulation requiring all vehicles, including trucks and buses, to have rear-view visibility -- in effect, requiring rear-view cameras.
The rule applies to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds -- from the smallest subcompact to commercial vans.
The rule follows an outcry from consumer groups and families that have been touched by tragedies involving back-over accidents, especially those involving children in parking lots. They had been pushing hard against delays in implimenting tougher standards. NHTSA says it has been listening.
"We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents—our children and seniors," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today's rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents."
Under the new rule, all vehicles under 10,000 pounds will have to come equipped with the ability for the driver to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. There are also requirements involving image size and other factors that pretty much ensure that rear-view cameras are the only solution that will work.
The original time schedule had been to have on all vehicles in 2014. The rule just issued pushes it back the schedule to 2018, meaning 2019 model-year vehicles.
Despite the delay, some automakers are getting ahead of the ruling by putting cameras on all their new models. Many offer cameras as standard or optional equipment even on their smallest, most economical cars.