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Rearview cameras on US cars to be compulsory by 2018 to save lives

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 April, 2014, 9:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 April, 2014, 9:29pm

The US government has announced it will require new cars and light trucks sold in the United States to have rearview cameras by May 2018, a regulation intended to prevent drivers from backing into pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Monday the new requirement would apply to all vehicles under 4,500kg, including buses and trucks.

"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," the administration said in a statement, adding that 58 to 69 lives would be saved in the US each year once all cars and light trucks on the road had the technology.

There were, on average, 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries a year caused by reversing accidents, the agency said. Children under five and adults 70 and older account for more than half of all back-over fatalities each year. Many carmakers are already installing rearview cameras in response to consumer demand.

Safety watchdogs welcomed the new rule but faulted the Obama administration for not moving sooner.