February 29, 2012

Federal regulators are about to require rearview cameras in all new cars.

Because something must be done about all those drivers who keep backing up into and over children. This will add $160 to $200 to the price of every new car, but what is money when there is a device that might make up for the people who fail to turn around and look when they are backing up?

Why with a camera built into the front view, people might shake off their old training and quit turning around, trust the little digital video, and come up with whole new ways of backing up into children.
“We haven’t done anything else to protect pedestrians,” said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington. “This is one thing we can do and should do.”
If it weren't for the concision and frankness, I'd say that quote is the perfect manifestation of the mind of a bureaucrat. There are 3 chilling steps: 1. We haven't doing anything recently about X, 2. There is something we could do, and 3. We should do it.
The new requirement stems from a 2008 law, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, named for a 2-year-old boy who died in 2002 when his pediatrician father was backing a sport utility vehicle into their driveway....

In urging Congress to help reduce backover injuries, KidsAndCars created a public-service announcement showing that 62 children could fit behind a large S.U.V. without being visible to the driver in any of the mirrors.
What about vehicles that are not large SUVs? The regulation applies to all cars. Also, you're supposed to turn around and look when you back up, not rely on mirrors.

Here's the very impressive KidsAndCars PSA that invokes deep fears:



ADDED: Now, the rule is being delayed. Today was the deadline, but it "may be delayed until after November's presidential election, regulators said."
The proposed rule, estimated to cost $2.7 billion, was listed as one of the five most expensive pending U.S. regulations in an Aug. 30 letter President Barack Obama sent to House Republican leaders.
Wow. What a difficult problem! You've got the voters who empathize about children and voters who worry about too much regulation. What do you do? Obviously, you delay the rule. More study is needed.

123 comments:

damikesc said...

The government --- always looking out for the little guy.

I was unaware of this epidemic of backing over and hitting kids. Given that many of the kids aren't terribly tall, how will the cameras actually help much?

It amazes me that I have managed to avoid both of my kids thus far in my life without this type of government interference. Or that my parents avoided me. Or that their parents avoided them.

Thank you, Mr Bureaucrat, for treating me like the low-functional retard you apparently believe me to be. I can't fathom the awesome power one must have to know, for certain, how best to live life for others.

chickenlittle said...

Coulda, shoulda, woulda is a modal operandus for government auxiliaries.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the camera fills in exactly the blind spot.

Jay said...

The new requirement stems from a 2008 law, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act

The sponsors of that legislation should be tarred & feathered.

How pathetic.

This type of paternalism is directly tied to modern feminism, by the way.

It was also demonstrated by the hyserical blinking lights, stop sign ZOMG!!! SCHOOL BUS!!! approach to children being dropped off.

Because as we know there was a total epidemic of kids being run over as they stepped off school buses.

rhhardin said...

They overlooked a roof camera to spot forgotten baby seats.

Jay said...

Ann,

I have a back up camera on my vehicle and when it rains/snows it gets covered with water and you can't see.

Of course then they'll mandate a cleaning device and that will cost $2,000 dollars...

Jay said...

This will add $160 to $200 to the price of every new car

I'm pretty sure it will be more than that. I'll have to look and see how much the option cost on mine but I'm pretty sure it was $500.

Matthew said...

Things like this remind me why Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister are timeless.

Curious George said...

Well, I don't believe it goes far enough. Not everyone will look at the video monitor. So I would build a sensing device that picks up body heat and automatically applies the brakes. Sure it will add $1,400 for each vehicle. But we can do it and should do it.

Matthew said...

"They overlooked a roof camera to spot forgotten baby seats."

And puppies! A problem clearly demonstrated by a certain man running for president.

Matthew said...

"So I would build a sensing device that picks up body heat and automatically applies the brakes."

Robot cars, here we come!

WV: alessa xtreme

No kidding. It said xtreme

MadisonMan said...

If bureacrats didn't invent problems that must be fixed, well then how would they justify their salaries?

Pogo said...

Uh oh, there's problems.

We took that same concept and we applied it to our cars.

We took that same concept and we applied it to our light bulbs, toilets, cell phones while driving, dietary salt, trans fats, contraceptives, oil pipelines, health care, and the economy.


Love,
The State.


Oh, and thanks for all the taxes. It's really great. but please send more; we're almost out.

Scott M said...

It will get worse. Just wait until most cars are electric (ie very quite) and the feds require that all cars make a minimum db of noise so we're not turning blind people into rounds of Frogger.

Paddy O said...

All new cars... no, not yet (though the cost is certainly less than $200 per car).

However, all vehicles that currently require backup beepers, yes! Yes! Yes!

Cameras not beeping, for the children!

MadisonMan said...

I can't stand those back-up beepers.

Government, leave me alone.

Dan in Philly said...

I remember the quote from the "Yes Minister" series.

"We must do something.

This is something.

Therefore, we must do this."

prairie wind said...

I cannot imagine the horror of driving over your own child. Most of those accidents (in my foggy memory bank) are babies in carseats. Parent sets the carseat down to finish doing something else, and forget they still need to put the child in the car.

Those carseats are handy in some ways but they sort of insulate the parent from the baby. I always preferred carrying a baby in my arms rather than lugging that awkward carseat. I hated strollers, too.

Tank said...

Andy R will be here in 3, 2, 1 ... to call you guys bigots against little children.

Babyphobia.

Children haters.

Widmerpool said...

Approximate back up deaths per year: 300

Cost of fix per life saved: $11.3 million to 72.2 million.

What foolishness.

By the way, the double word verification wouldn't be that annoying if the words were READABLE.

Patrick said...

Well, the cameras will totally solve this problem. But then, we'll need some sort of electrical shock system to make sure that people look at what the cameras are showing.

There is no end to risk in life, so there will be no end to regulation unless somebody stands up and says "Life is dangerous."

These creeps may actually tempt me to vote for Ron Paul.

Triangle Man said...

They overlooked a roof camera to spot forgotten baby seats.

And forgotten lattes.

Pogo said...

We should each be assigned a Government Minder to watch our every move through a camera afixed toour heads.

That way we would never bump into things, or choose the wrong foods, or say yes to sex when we mean no, or throw away recyclables, or back up over babies, kill a protected species, or bully someone.

It would be like a conscience or a brain, only better, because the State knows all the answers.

I propose it sits atop our heads like that tilted cap on Andy R.

Amy said...

I had a loaner SUV with a backup camera when my car was being serviced. It felt very counter-intuitive to look forward (at the camera) instead of back over my shoulder (as I have been doing since I started driving at 16) while backing up.
Not sure if I would get used to it or not.

hawkeyedjb said...

Another reminder that laws named after children are bad news. Mostly they serve to assuage the pain of a parent who, having lost a child, dedicates his/her life to Doing Something.

Widmerpool said...

Might it be cheaper to simply require sensors to be installed on all children and old people?

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

.

My car has proximity sensors on the back bumper. Much better IMO than a camera that requires cleaning to remain useful.

.

Tank said...

How many injuries or deaths will be caused by people relying on the camera and not looking at mirrors or through windows? When you give people a screen to look at, they start to ignore "real" life.

Rliyen said...

They overlooked a roof camera to spot forgotten baby seats.

And forgotten lattes.


Or in my case, my high school diploma.

And later in life, a formula bottle.

EDH said...

And these are the people who espouse Darwinism and natural selection?

lemondog said...

Pogo said...
We should each be assigned a Government Minder to watch our every move through a camera afixed toour heads.

EXCELLENT!! suggestion. Unemployment solved!

Bill said...

It's pretty difficult to find a new car without power windows and locks and AC and a whole host of features that aren't exactly essential but are now standard.

If they'd just mind their own business, these cameras would probably be standard in most new cars within about ten years. But when you mandate them there's less incentive for the manufacturers to lower the price and the whole market system gets thwarted. Lately it seems like less of a stretch to say that politicians really are a threat to our well being.

Henry said...

End game: No cars. That'll solve the problem.

And they'll mandate rear-view cameras on our heads.

Henry said...

Added: I have driven a minivan with one of those rear view cameras and it works very well. It displays in one-half of the rear-view mirror when you're in reverse. When you're in drive, it doesn't display.

virgil xenophon said...

Back in '96 a guy named Howard wrote a book called: "The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America" that addresses just this sort of regulatory overreach. WELL worth reading. And since then its been a one-way street of more of the same. "We've come a Long Way, baby" (to quote an old ad campaign) Nothing like "progress!" Anticipating Howards' book, I still can remember a phone conversation about the over-weaning nature of the nanny state that I had with a friend circa 93-94 one day while taking a break from painting our bedroom. Glancing over at the aluminum ladder I casually counted SEVEN (7) safety sticker warnings affixed to the damn thing (standing on top step is dangerous, do not let ladder touch electrical wires, etc.) How did the "greatest generation" that won WW II EVER survive childhood w.o. safety stickers and bicycle helmets! And all that unsupervised play!!!!

Tank said...

How many children will die because the Feds delayed this rule so that it would not be an issue damaging Zero Man in the election?

Yay. Dead babies !

John Lynch said...

You cannot see children behind you in many vehicles because the rear window is too high off the ground or there is no window at all. Postal vans, for instance, really can't see children behind them. The Post Office's solution is to instruct mail carriers to back up as little as possible.

That's good advice for everyone- just don't back up if it can be avoided. I try not to park anywhere that requires backing out.

I had a Suburban back into my Corolla at an intersection because the driver simply couldn't see me. Why they were backing up at an intersection in the first place is a mystery.

Rear view cameras are only going to be really useful on larger vehicles. Small cars with good visibility don't need them.

Finally, why is it that lawmakers that supposedly care about working people keep inflicting costs upon us that are regressive? The well off won't mind because they get a neat gadget. The people that can't really afford an extra 200 bucks for a car get hosed. Like gas prices, raising the cost of a car hurts the poor the most.

Leave us alone.

edutcher said...

Love Ann's analysis of the bureaucrat's mind, but there's another step, which is really the first:

If a problem doesn't exist, invent one.

Bruce Hayden said...

I installed a rear view camera in my Tahoe. The back seat and rear windows are too dark, and it is sometimes hard to see out the interior rear view mirror. And, my GPS system had a port for a camera. Since it was after market, it was a bit over the expected $200.

You can have them mounted on top of the vehicle, or lower down, often around the license plate. The later would probably be more useful for missing kids, but the former is better, I think, for driving, esp., for me as my vehicle is high enough that I can see back over many cars.

I have had it a bit over six months, and am starting to depend on it. For one thing, that vehicle has a pretty big blind spot, which you can easily see with the camera.

But, I really appreciated the rear view camera about a month ago, when I was driving west from Colorado to Reno. I drove over US 6 from Green River, UT to Provo in a blizzard. It was white knuckle driving, despite having routinely driven snow for better than 45 years now. Compounding the problem were cars with, say, fruit on their license plates, instead of maybe skiers (i.e. southern flatlanders, who shouldn't have been allowed on that road that day).

In this sort of driving, situational awareness is important. Yet, I really couldn't afford to take my eyes off the road to turn my head to check my rear view mirrors to check for vehicles coming up behind me. But, I was able to constantly check my rear view camera display without really taking my eyes off the road.

That day, I became a real believer in rear view cameras, at least for me, and where I tend to drive. And, yes, I do have to clean off the lens at times. But, it may not get as bad for me as for some, because it is so far up.

The camera takes a minute or so to fire up after I turn on the ignition. I find myself now waiting until then in order to more safely back out of parking spaces.

It does take some getting used to. Because my camera picks up my blind spots, it has a broader field of vision than usual. This has the somewhat unfortunate effect of making objects in the camera display look further away than they really are. It takes getting used to. It isn't as bad when I am in reverse, since the entire GPS display is then used for the camera, but it does affect my vision when driving normally, because then the display is narrowed slightly in order to show some of the GPS map (apparently, they don't think you need that map as much when backing up). Probably just an anomaly of my Pioneer system, and I would happily give up the map display when using the camera. So, I typically use my rear view mirrors to actually gage distances, and my rear view camera to detect objects, esp. vehicles, that may be in my blind spot, or when the actual distances are not that important.

ricpic said...

Well, according to PJ&B, people have to be pretty damned poor to object to a measly $160 - $200 add on cost when buying a new car. If it's not $5 gas it's this puny $160 - $200 add on the poor, who have to be pretty damned poor to object to, object to. A measly $160 - $200 for their own safety! Those stupid ungrateful poor people are uneducable!!

Tank said...

edutcher said...
Love Ann's analysis of the bureaucrat's mind, but there's another step, which is really the first:

If a problem doesn't exist, invent one.


To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Regulators regulate.

We must really love you Annie to put up with that WV !!!

purplepenquin said...

They warned us this would happen...once we started requiring seatbelts and turn signals on cars the slippery slope would directly lead to all kinds of other silly rules in the name of 'safety'!!

Seriously - it appears that some folks are opposed to any/all regulations but I wouldn't wanna assume, so I'll ask: What is the difference (if any) between a reasonable safety regulation and an unreasonable one?

Matthew said...

"What is the difference (if any) between a reasonable safety regulation and an unreasonable one?"

One test for a reasonable ones actually solve the problem they propose to solve.

We can't tell if this one will be reasonable, as more study is needed.

If you can't pass that first test, there's no reason to create more tests. Things that pass: Seat belts, turn signal laws, barriers on mountain cliffs.

Things that don't: Cancer pictures on cigarettes

Scott M said...

Well, according to PJ&B, people have to be pretty damned poor to object to a measly $160 - $200 add on cost when buying a new car. If it's not $5 gas it's this puny $160 - $200 add on the poor, who have to be pretty damned poor to object to, object to. A measly $160 - $200 for their own safety! Those stupid ungrateful poor people are uneducable!!

The poor do not buy brand new cars and, thus, legions of poor, poverty-stricken babies will be squashed until the federal government gets off their old, fat, white asses and does something about the used cars out there driving around willy-nilly without reverse angle cameras.

The black children, disproportionately affected, as always, will bear the brunt of an uncaring white bureaucracy that thinks everyone can afford a new car.

Alternately, there is absolutely no mention of that obvious, extremely low-tech and cheap, swing arm. School buses have been using them for years now, so why not mandate that they be included on each and every vehicle's rear bumper? A simple push of a button and it will swing back, clearing the immediate vicinity behind you. Better a child be knocked senseless (but alive) than run over (and dead).

The added benefit would be allowing you to finally show that idiot with the horn behind you just what you think of his custom halo headlights.

Michael said...

Widmerpool: You have taken your screen name from one of the 20th Centuries greatest novels. Why on earth that name? Had you the wrong coat as a schoolboy?

bagoh20 said...

It would be cheaper to just have the government send over a new kid when this happens.


I read that 5 gallon buckets kill the most kids. A camera on each one of those makes more sense.

Scott M said...

What is the difference (if any) between a reasonable safety regulation and an unreasonable one?

A seatbelt versus a back-up camera system? No arsenic in restaurant food versus no salt shakers on the table?

I could go on, but you knew that. Please don't confuse desires for limited government with desires for anarchy.

Bruce Hayden said...

Rear view cameras are only going to be really useful on larger vehicles. Small cars with good visibility don't need them.

That is what my Tahoe is - a slightly shorter version of a Suburban. Same height, width, and most of the same parts. Indeed, both the GMC and Cadillac versions of their longer vehicles don't use "Suburban" any more, but "LS" or something. (I also have a older GMC K2500 Suburban, but unfortunately, no rear view camera for it - it really is a monster - 3/4 ton instead of the usual 1/2 ton, and able to tow my other two vehicles at the same time).

That's good advice for everyone- just don't back up if it can be avoided. I try not to park anywhere that requires backing out.

I do this with both my Tahoe and my Suburban, but not as much with my Audi. I mostly though don't take the Suburban anywhere I would need to park. Just too much trouble.

Postal vans, for instance, really can't see children behind them. The Post Office's solution is to instruct mail carriers to back up as little as possible.

And, I think that a lot of their vehicles have those aggravating chimes or bells when backing up. Which may be something that all vehicles should have. Of course, that won't help with kids too young to understand what that means. But, they probably shouldn't be unsupervised at that age either.

Peter said...

Widmerpool said, "Approximate back up deaths per year: 300. Cost of fix per life saved: $11.3 million to 72.2 million."

Except, drivers compensate for added safety features. And sometimes they over-compensate.

Did you ever notice that whenever there's some snow, it's mostly 4WD SUVs in the ditch/median/spinout zone? These vehicles are more capable, but their drivers often think they're more capable than they really are. With the result that the "safer vehicle" often isn't, stistically speaking.

In this case, the presence of the camera will make it less likely that the driver will actually get out of the vehicle and look behind it "just in case." And so the likely result will be more deaths as well as higher costs.

Bender said...

Well, if this really is a safety issue and prevents injuries and death, then why the hell are we expected to pay for it ourselves??

Shouldn't our employers pay for it?

Or shouldn't the insurance companies just provide these cameras for free? After all, it will end up saving the insurers lots of money, so they should be happy to provide them for free.

Screw this "we should pay for it ourselves" crap. It's someone else's responsibility.

lemondog said...

Whine, whine, bitch, bitch....so a couple of new laws have been passed/are being passed.......

Some 40,000 laws were passed by legislatures meeting in all 50 states during 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and many have a start date of Jan. 1, 2012.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-28/new-state-laws-2012/52258808/1

Bruce Hayden said...

I read that 5 gallon buckets kill the most kids. A camera on each one of those makes more sense.

I think the mop pail death statistic is usually contrasted to the death toll of young children from the accidental discharge of firearms, which turns out to be much lower.

Now, if you really want a scary statistic, look at the number of children who die in unsupervised pools, yet parents freak when they find that their kids have gone to houses with locked guns, but not unsecured mop buckets or swimming pools, both of which kill many more children every year.

Matthew said...

"Some 40,000 laws were passed by legislatures meeting in all 50 states during 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and many have a start date of Jan. 1, 2012."

Laws passed in state legislatures =/= federal laws. There should be more passed there, as individual states are responsible for more things, and would need to write overlapping laws for their own jurisdictions.

Again, since they weren't even sure this would work, why pass the law until they knew it was a good idea?

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Why doesn't government outlaw cars? 40,000 people in the U.S. die in auto accidents each year. Cars are killing machines on wheels.

With 40,000 fewer people dying each year, that will be 40,000 additional people the government can force to buy health insurance each year.

Outlawing cars will save lives, save Gaia, and force more people to buy government mandated health insurance. It's a win/win/win proposition.

Scott said...

with the deficit and all, they kind of are, aren't they?

tmitsss said...

I used to drive a Miata, several years ago,when in line to exit an Office Depot, the SUV in front of me suddenly back into me. The Doctors Wife then apologized saying "This is loaner car and I forgot it doesn't have the backup warning"

Why not just require everybody to put a traffic cone behind the car every time you stop, like the telephone company requires its drivers.

Bruce Hayden said...

Did you ever notice that whenever there's some snow, it's mostly 4WD SUVs in the ditch/median/spinout zone? These vehicles are more capable, but their drivers often think they're more capable than they really are. With the result that the "safer vehicle" often isn't, stistically speaking.

I think that the real problem is that while 4wd may allow your vehicle to accelerate better on snow or ice, it doesn't help with stopping. And, not surprisingly, the bigger the 4 wheeled vehicle, the harder it is to stop.

So, I have to be esp. proactive with my Suburban and Tahoe, but not as much with my Audi Quattro. And, you rarely see that sort of car off the highways here in Colorado (though, I have done it, having driven Audi Quattros for 25 years now).

purplepenquin said...

"A seatbelt versus a back-up camera system? No arsenic in restaurant food versus no salt shakers on the table?"

Great examples of how confusing things get when "safety" gets involved.


A seatbelt only protects you, while a back-up camera is there to protect others. If anything the gov't should require the cameras while making the seatbelts optional, no?

And there already is arsenic in your apple pie, yet there ain't no law about eating a slice of that...tho people go to prison (often times receiving longer sentences than child molesters) for growing a plant that some consider to be "unsafe".

Crazy lil' world, eh?

AprilApple said...

Progressive auto insurance is out to aid the government (democrats) in forcing all drivers to have a device on every car that keeps track of miles driven. It will lead to a government program/tax
that forces us all to pay a per- mile tax to the big daddy government machine.
Cool, huh?
Isn't it neat-o when anti-capitalist capitalist companies work hand in hand with the progressive soclaist agenda to grab your money and steal your privacy?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Because as we know there was a total epidemic of kids being run over as they stepped off school buses..."

I can understand that more than when I have to slow down to 20mph in a school zone and the school is a quarter mile off the road.

Seeing Red said...

Then why not just ban SUVs?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey why not have all new cars also come with a years supply of birth control? That way you eliminate two problems at once.

Jay said...

A seatbelt only protects you, while a back-up camera is there to protect others.

Um, not really.

The backup camera can also assit you in not smashing into objects.

Matthew said...

The main argument for seat belts is that by protecting you, first responders are less likely to have to try and respond to your broken, injured self spewed on the side of the road when they could be dealing with other, more important, harder to avoid matters.

bagoh20 said...

The bailout of GM = more dead children.


How long before we hear the inevitable story of how the cameras are creating some unforeseen hazard, like people driving around backward for miles "all hepped up on goofballs".

bagoh20 said...

How do we know the deaths are accidental? And if they are not, doesn't a camera help in the wrong way?

Bill said...

Wait, what if we mandated 'free' contraception in the backseat of every new car? It would cost less than the cameras and ensure that there'd be no kids to back over.

John Lynch said...

We should ask "who's making the cameras and how much have they been contributing to political campaigns?"

Henry said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote: Hey why not have all new cars also come with a years supply of birth control? That way you eliminate two problems at once.

LOL. That's front-page materials.

MayBee said...

I have a little car, so what I need is an ability to turn on the camera of the the SUVs that are parked on either side of me at the grocery store. Then I'll actually be able to see.

Also, how does this solve the problem of people accidentally leaving their babies in the backseat when they go into work?
Maybe all car seats (which kids must ride in until they are about 12) should also have a camera.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... What is the difference (if any) between a reasonable safety regulation and an unreasonable one?.."

It seems to liberals there is no unreasonable regulation. Transportation Dept. estimates 228 annual deaths from these type of accidents.

How much of that is due to poor visibility versus the driver simply not paying attention which is pretty much the cause of most car accidents.

Rusty said...

If it saves just one baby seal............

Scott M said...

How much of that is due to poor visibility versus the driver simply not paying attention which is pretty much the cause of most car accidents.

Why go after cell phones when eating while driving (isn't drive-through something like 65% of McDonalds' sales?) is more likely accident-causer?

DADvocate said...

We also need a device that detects cats that crawl up under the hood to keep warm in the winter and get chewed up by the fan belt when you start the engine.

AND, a camera/sensor on the front of semi tractors that detect small cars and other objects directly in front of and close to the semi. A month ago, I was bumped by a semi that had pulled up too close to me at night where we had to stop for construction. He bumped me when we could go, not doing any damage to my car. He said he couldn't see me. I believed him. He was short and the truck had a large, long hood.

We also need extensive research and implementation of a solution to the problem of deer/car accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety more than 150 fatalities each year. That's more than twice the number of kids getting backed over, plus hitting a deer at 60 mph does a lot more damage to your car than backing over a baby.

PLUS, a detector for when you leave a kid/dog/disabled person in the car. This could run off of sound sensors causing the horns to honk and light to flash. On average 38 children have died from hyperthermia per year in cars since 1998.

traditionalguy said...

The Noble Cause is mighty thin here.

But back-up screens also give you a target glide path with green lines that narrow to yellow and finally red. Backing-up in close parking lots is assisted somewhat. You see how far you can go as you back out.

Invariably you can go several feet farther than your old eye balling method was willing to risk.

If that speeds up the super slow drivers getting out of the spaces, then they have done a public service.

But fearful people are hard to teach new tricks to.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... A seatbelt only protects you,.."

And any passengers you might have.

Since far more auto deaths involve high speeds, why not mandate speed governors on all cars. Say top speed of 35mph.

Would that be a safety measure you'd support? Think of the thousands of lives saved.

wyo sis said...

There are three steps to undo the damage:
1. We HAVEN’T removed a stupid regulation or law or useless Center of X Regulations in …Oh… EVER!
2. We COULD and we need to remove many stupid regulations, laws and Centers of X
3. We SHOULD do it.
It will be easy to find examples of the damage stupid regulations, laws and Centers of X have done.

Hagar said...

False, fleeting Clarence Ditlow is not a bureaucrat. He is the CEO of the Center for Automtive Safety (CAS), a quite profitable Nader subsidiary.

Rusty said...

Also, how does this solve the problem of people accidentally leaving their babies in the backseat when they go into work?
Maybe all car seats (which kids must ride in until they are about 12) should also have a camera



Maybe there should be a test before people have children.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Why go after cell phones when eating while driving (isn't drive-through something like 65% of McDonalds' sales?) is more likely accident-causer?"

How much does Micky D contribute to political parties?

Granted 228 annual deaths is a tragedy but its difficult to believe that number has generated Federal action to implement regulations.

Chuck66 said...

What if you are like me and are just a good driver? Never hit anyone. Last accident was in 1996 (and that was due to someone else being careless and blocking a narrow bridge during a snowstorm).

I don't need a camera because I am not an idiot.

Chuck66 said...

Seat belt laws are different is a selt belt will save your life when an incompetent driver hits you.

Backing over someone is your own fault. It can be prevented by you not being stupid. You cannont prevent a bad or drunk driver from hitting you (unless you have a good heads up that he is coming).

MayBee said...

Scott M- I think this WH would happily ban McDonald's drive-throughs.

rhhardin said...

Backup beepers would have spoiled my backyard bird-microphone recordings except for audio notch filters that neatly take them out.

Scott M said...

How much does Micky D contribute to political parties?

Exactly. Add to that the other retail food bigs (BK, Hardees, etc, none of which can really hold a candle to McD, but it all adds up) and you realize that the impetus for these pogroms isn't safety at all and that there must be other incentives operating somewhere behind the headlines.

bagoh20 said...

I think the majority of over-regulation is due to women and their desire to treat us all like children for as long as possible. Look at where these intrusive regulations come from and you usually find an intrenched corporation looking for a government forced market or a women's group, or both.

See the army story above for another example.

Widmerpool said...

Michael,

Yes, a big Dance fan and absolutely agree on your assessment of its significance. I must confess that there is not a deeper significance to the screen name other than my love of the novels. I suspect Ken would be heartily in favor of rearview cameras!

CWJ said...

Camera's are cool gadgets, but like any video device they are only useful when looking directly at the screen. I prefer the audio based proximity sensors that my wife and I have in the rear bumpers of our cars. They free up your eyes and the rest of your body to actually look backward, and around you and use ALL of your mirrors and windows. Children, pets, and other dangers are as likely to dart into view unexpectedly as they are to placidly stay directly behind your vehicle waiting to be run over.

Graham Powell said...

What a crock. They say this is a vitally important law that will SAVE CHILDREN'S LIVES but it's not so important that it can't wait until an election.

Hagar said...

Have you ever been on a job site with half a dozen big equipment with loud backing up warning signals are operating at once?
Those warning beeps are nerve-racking, make you work in a daze, and to my mind likely kill more a lot more people than they save plus making for a very unpleasant work environment which also affects the quality of the work done.

Michael said...

Widmerpool: Ken would be delighted to finance the rearview cameras!!

I started Dance about twenty years ago and couldn't go five pages. I picked it up again about a decade later and read it straight through.

Powell is the finest English novelist of the 20th century in my view, far superior to those who usually come to mind. St. Aubyn is making a try too.

Skyler said...

This is the typical result of having people dedicated to stuff like safety. In the factory, the safety manager has to continuously justify his job, so he is constantly finding problems that need to be fixed to save someone. At Dell we had safety managers tell us that our workers had to wear eye protection even though there is no recorded instance in all of human history of someone getting an eye injury while screwing in low torque screws. That was a big campaign that took a lot of safety manager involvement. Meanwhile, they ignored the installation of recycling equipment that cut off the arms of two different people.

Safety should not be a specialist's job. It should be everyone's job. That keeps the safety programs sane.

chuckR said...

All I learned from that PSA was that SUVs have a blind spot the size of a barn door.
All I learned from my company working on an optical sensor application for industrial use was that it is next to impossible to cover every scenario.
Oh, and the PSA also inadvertently showed a way to address the danger for free. Do a walk-around before departing. And/or do a head count of kids (62 of them? - you would make Rick Santorum proud).

kimsch said...

Gee, I remember as child being taught to be aware of cars. They were bigger than me and the driver may not see me, but I could see the car backing out of a driveway and stay back the moment or two it took the driver to complete the maneuver.

To this day in parking lots I watch the cars in the spaces, looking for brake lights and back-up lights. Drivers can't see in every direction at once.

So many people walking in parking lots seem to do so obliviously.
wv: offinii merelphy

traditionalguy said...

Pardon me, but the Beeper in reverse on a truck is not the issue, is it?

High end passenger cars now have silent screens meant to help the driver who either will not, or for neck pains cannot, twist 180 degrees around while he backs up.

The driving schools teach students to use the 180 degree twist to look straight backwards while backing up, and still caution that anything under 3 feet tall will be unseen.

And the number of good drivers who do what the Driving School taught them is about the same as the ones who really mastered and use the parallel parking techniques they were taught.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or you can be OCD about your kids around cars and OCD about looking for kids around your car.

(OCD as in, for example, walking out to the backyard to tell your spouse, "I'm about to back out of the garage. Don't come out of the gate with the kids before checking to make sure that I'm gone.")

That's the option I've gone with. It's free.

Henry said...

The first thing my Dad taught me when he taught me to drive was to walk around the back of the car with my eyes open before I got in and turned it on.

paul a'barge said...

Have you known anyone who backed up over their child and killed them?

I do.

I favor this feature. Bring it. Faster please.

Portia said...

If all rear-view cameras were like mine (2010 Honda Odyssey) there would probably be more people, children included, run over.

You know those signs in some rear view mirrors that say 'Objects may be closer than they appear'? Well, in my Honda an object appearing 100 feet back is probably only 2 feet back. It's that bad. I ignore it all the time.

chuckR said...

@paul a'barge

There can't be a worse pain than killing your child in an accident like that. My wife's uncle died in a farm accident - not like the Doctor's, but also due to inattention. I don't doubt that some kids lives could be saved with a camera system. But familiarity may breed overconfidence. Other kids might not be saved due to system blind spots, by camera distortion or other technical shortcomings; kids who could have been saved by a walk-around or by parking nose out.

Hagar said...

@Paul,
No, but I did know a materials tech who got run over and killed because he could not hear the guys yelling at him to get out of the way over the din of the backup alarms.

n.n said...

We have too many lawyers and public (but not general) interest advocates.

We should replace the politician lawyers with engineers and other subject matter specialists, preferably with an exemplary career in their particular field. They tend to be more pragmatic and efficient in both their specifications and development.

Carnifex said...

There will always, always be a blind spot. We can't see in a 360 deg. view for one, let alone a globular view. You take all the precautions you want, some people will still die. That is reality.

My CDL instructor harped on parking and backing up during my training. It's one of the most dangerous aspects to driving, because of blind spots, and the unpredictability of other people. He went so far as to tell us that it is better, when driving a car, to back into parking spaces. The parking space is easily inspected by the driver for any hazards, and the vehicles that frame the parking space acts as a fence to keep hazards out when backing in. And when you leave, you are pulling into the chaotic driving lanes with a better field of view, than trying to back out into oncoming traffic. Never thought of it before and he made a lot of sense, now I back in regularly.

CWJ said...

Carnifex makes a good point. But back to the original post and AA's 3 chilling steps. She's right. This is the bureaucrat's mindset. The market HAS been addressing this problem for some time now with various solutions; cameras, mirrors, proximity sensors, etc. But once the feds decree that it shall be cameras, then THAT shall be the only solution allowed. Even if they don't outlaw proximity sensors, no car company will go to the additional expense of offering them. So in effect my preferred solution disappears by government fiat regardless of whether it is a good option or not.

Carnifex said...

@DADvocate

Just saw your post. While magnanimous, you should have been more irate. The driver of a semi is supposed to be able to see asphalt between the end of his hood and the car, line, whatever, in front of him. On my drivers test, that was an automatic fail.

Rusty said...

paul a'barge said...
Have you known anyone who backed up over their child and killed them?

I do.

I favor this feature. Bring it. Faster please.



Advance Auto sale flyer. Page five.
$100.00 bucks. Install one yourself.
But don't force me to buy one.

damikesc said...

Wow, another stupid idea that Obama wants delayed until after the election.

Can he make a decision on ANYTHING? How bad is it that he's convinced if he makes a choice it'll kill his election chances? How terrible are his ideas?

Scott M said...

How terrible are his ideas?

They are just like most progressive ideas. So good, they have to made mandatory.

Calypso Facto said...

The "95 to 112" lives optimistically predicted to be saved through this mandate are a mere rounding error to the 6,300 annual deaths (at 1990 traffic levels) attributed to federally mandated
fuel efficiency standards
. Let's get rid of the federal mandates altogether and benefit from the net gain.

When I start to back out of my garage in the morning I'm already typically being warned by a seat belt chime, my proximity sensors beeping as they pick up the nearby walls, my dash flashing an ice warning, my mirrors reminding me that objects are closer than they appear, and my back-up camera imploring me to check my surroundings while it distracts me from checking my surroundings (or else it's offline due to snow and ice). All of this for someone who has driven over 1 million accident-free miles.

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars!

Fred Drinkwater said...

My father was, among other things, an expert in aviation safety issues from a pilot's POV. A significant number of "accidents" were caused by, in the parlance, "both heads down and locked" in the cockpit. I.e. both pilots paying attention to the bells and warnings, and nobody actually flying the plane.
Seatbelts are one thing. Adding any kind of distracting device in the cockpit / driver's area is fraught with unforseeable consequences.
The camera idea is definitely one where a careful, slow approach is appropriate, with sound data analysis backing up any decision.

Sigivald said...

The new requirement stems from a 2008 law, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act

Further reinforcing that any legislation named after someone is a terrible law.

Fred Drinkwater said...

and I see that Calypso Facto has provided a perfect lead-in to my comment...
thanks.

Michael said...

A child died last year in Georgia in a daycare van when the driver accidentally locked and left the car not realizing that a child was still on board. A bill has been introduced to require all daycare buses and vans to have a button installed on the rear of the van which the driver will have to push before locking and leaving it. This will require the driver to check the interior of the bus or van.

Tragedy, like hate, will become a federal crime. Negligence and gross negligence will be things of the past.

karrde said...

@DadVocate, Car/Deer collissions.

I can see a new variation on the Mandate idea.

You see, hunting can reduce deer population densities, thus reducing car/deer accidents.

Thus, a percentage of the population is mandated to hunt deer, in order to reduce fatalities from car/deer collisions.

Robert said...

Why not mandate an RFID must be implanted in every child at birth which will disable a car's ignition if the child walks behind it? If it saves even one life it's worth it.

Fr Martin Fox said...

1. To state the obvious: the camera doesn't prevent the driver from backing over someone. He may ignore the camera or else have his gaze on something else. If you're backing and turning, you are glancing around in several directions. So while it will make some difference, how much?

2. What about the hazard created by a video monitor in the dashboard? You don't think some drivers are going to be staring at that? Especially if they pass over something odd looking in the road, they might look to see what it was.

3. To what extent may we anticipate this problem being addressed without a mandate? Car companies add a lot of useful gadgets without any mandates, because customers like them. This would seem an easy sell to parents--scare the crud out of them. To put it another way, what fraction of these incidents involves people who have no children nor live near them? I'm betting a vanishingly small number.

4. What is the objective criteria by which we decide which problems to try to address this way? No one seems to care about that. Just see if someone can work up enough moral urgency and have the connections.

hopechange said...

The first American Revolution was fought by people who had been governing themselves for about 160 years. A very practical people. And then the British decided to coerce them, as they had the Welsh, Irish and Scots. But it turned out the Americans weren't mere subjects. The American were citizens. And eventually, the British lost. Eventually.

The Americans in the first American Revolution were objecting to the very same kinds of intrusions and arrogant usurpation of individual liberty we are objecting to from this federal government.

We are at a crossroads right now. This election is crucial.

The MSM want you to think it's hopeless. But it's not. Not at all. It would be easy and fairly quick to fix the economy. And we can cut the tentacles that the federal government wants to wrap around every part of your life.

What does being an American mean? What is our heritage? Find out for yourself. Make up your own mind.

Here is a link to an AMAZING talk NEwt gave to the cadets at the Citadel as part of a new course led by Mallory Factor, on The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America.
http://conservatives4newt.blogspot.com/2012/02/speaker-gingrich-on-conservative.html

We could have an exciting future to look forward to if we could shake off the nightmare the MSM wants us to think is "reality."

FedkaTheConvict said...

Yesterday in Milwaukee an 11 year old boy was struck and killed by a train. He was wearing a sweatshirt and had the hood pulled up over his head and also had earbuds in his ears as he listened to music. He never saw or heard the train as he stepped around the crossing barriers; the conductors saw him but there was nothing they could do.

No doubt the bureaucrats will ban hoodies and earphones next.

FedkaTheConvict said...

There's been six co-sleeping deaths in Milwaukee County for 2012. No doubt the government should mandate some warning system so mothers don't smother their babies while sleeping

Denton Romans said...

Am I the only one calling BS on 62 kids fitting in the blind spot? They were obviously in view of the mirror.

I think the ad would have been much more effective with one kid playing with sidewalk chalk in the blind spot.

Ralph L said...

The new Cadillac XTS, which comes out this spring, will have an optional system which stops the car if it detects an imminent collision at low speeds. It also has rear side sensors for backing out when parked between vehicles. Yes, it's designed for old people who can't bend around and look.

Like the cameras, it will all trickle down to cheaper cars eventually.

Calgary Computer Repair said...

I was a passenger in my dad's Suburban when he was parallel parking in front of my sister's house on Thanksgiving day. A boy rode a bike right behind the car as my dad was backing up and the car hit him. I was looking out the mirror and never the child or the bike until I saw the boy's shoe as he lay on the ground. Luckily he was not hurt. So I know first hand there is a blind spot.

vinay singh said...

The Highlander eatures sweptback headlamps and ... paired to some cvt and turning all four wheels. Toyota says the cars can reach dealerships early next year.
Buick Navigation System