BLOOMSBURG — Right now they are just an added feature on cars, but in a few years a small camera on the back of vehicles will become mandatory in an effort to prevent deadly accidents.
According to the federal government, so-called back over incidents kill more than 200 people every year and injure another 1,500.
Those numbers are the main reason why, starting in 2018, new vehicles must come equipped with a rear-view camera.
John Panko demonstrated the rear-view camera on one of the new cars for sale at Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships near Bloomsburg. The general manager says the cameras are becoming more popular with customers.
“There’s a mix. Some people that definitely want it and then there are people who once you show it to them, then they decide they want it,” Panko said.
Starting in 2018, rear-view cameras will be required on all new passenger vehicles.
Panko says the cost will be included in the price of the vehicle.
“A lot of the newer ones come with the camera standard now.”
The main purpose of the cameras is to help people park. If someone or something were to get too close to the back of your car it could help prevent an accident.
The feature is also meant to help protect young children and older adults who account for most back over accidents. Federal transportation officials hope the wide-view lens camera will help drivers see areas behind the vehicle.
“No matter whether you have children or not, it’s a good idea to have the camera. Because they (children) come out of nowhere quickly,” said Deborah Colosimo of Shenandoah.
Dan Price of Bloomsburg already has the feature in his car. He says his rear-view camera helps him get out of crowded parking lots and avoid dangerous situations.
“I think it’s a very good thing. I think it’s going to save a lot of children and a lot of other people.”
Federal officials proposed the rule on this issue in response to a kids transportation safety act signed into law in 2008.
The rear-view cameras will be required on all new passenger vehicles starting in 2018.