The encroaching American nanny state is now prohibiting you from buying a new car without a backup camera.
On Wednesday, a new federal regulation took full effect requiring every new car sold in America to come equipped with rearview cameras and video displays. Advocates say the rule, mandated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency in 2014, will result in fewer drivers backing up into people because of a lack of visibility.
“The regulation is a monumental advancement of safety for children, pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users,” said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, in a statement.
According to the Department of Transportation, more than 200 people are killed and over 12,000 injured each year due to “backover” accidents. More than half of those killed are children under 5 years old or adults 70 and older, ABC News reports. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims rearview cameras have been found to reduce backup-related crashes by 17 percent.
In 2008, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush, directed the NHTSA to create a standard for improving drivers’ ability to detect pedestrians behind their vehicles. The mandatory backup cameras are what they came up with.
Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, an advocacy group that works to prevent motor vehicle accidents involving children, told ABC News “we don’t have a choice” when it comes to child safety.
“This measure will save countless lives, especially of children,” she said.
The new regulation may save lives. But it will definitely increase the cost of new cars in the U.S. and make motor vehicles more difficult to customize because of digital components. Plus there’s no guarantee that people will use the rearview cameras that are now mandated by law.
Maybe that’s a trade-off consumers are willing to make. But consumers aren’t being offered a choice here. The government has stepped in and forced car manufacturers to sell consumers a product dictated by federal bureaucrats.
Drivers aren’t asked to be responsible for themselves, drive carefully, and purchase cars with backup cameras if that helps them to drive more safely. The government — typically — is pre-emptively thinking for them.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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