NHTSA Addresses Backup Camera Rules Issue

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Detroit News

Con­gress approved leg­is­la­tion in 2007 requir­ing the gov­ern­ment to set rear-visibility rules by early 2011, but the rul­ing has faced a series of delays.

Find out what NHTSA chief David Strick­land has to say cur­rently about the ruling.

National High­way Traf­fic Safety Admin­is­tra­tion chief David Strick­land says he has no time frame for final­iz­ing delayed rear-visibility rules that would require automak­ers to install back-up cam­eras in all new vehicles.

“We want to make sure we get it right,” Strick­land said last week after a forum in New York, echo­ing com­ments he has made for months on the regulation.

Con­gress approved leg­is­la­tion in 2007 requir­ing the gov­ern­ment to set rear-visibility rules by early 2011, but Sec­re­tary of Trans­porta­tion Ray LaHood has repeat­edly exer­cised his power to delay the rule. The depart­ment didn’t make its last self-imposed dead­line set for Dec. 31, and hasn’t set a new deadline.

The rule is one of 17 sig­nif­i­cant reg­u­la­tions under review, accord­ing to a monthly report from the Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment. Many — includ­ing new side-impact test rules and rules ensur­ing peo­ple can hear hybrids and elec­tric vehi­cles — are behind sched­ule. In one case — set­ting new stan­dards for what event data recorders must cap­ture — NHTSA cited a “lack of resources” as the rea­son for the delay. Addi­tional research or need for agency dis­cus­sions are cited as rea­sons for other delays.

“The delays here are pretty sig­nif­i­cant when you look at it in total­ity,” said Sean Kane, who heads Safety Research & Strate­gies, an auto safety firm that often works with plain­tiffs’ attor­neys. “The agency is fairly far behind.”

But Strick­land has defended the agency’s track record, repeat­edly empha­siz­ing he wants to get data-driven reg­u­la­tions, rather than meet arbi­trary timetables.

 

 

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