Federal agency wants back-up cameras on all vehicles by 2015
New rules to require vehicle back-up cameras could be announced before the end of the month.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants them on new cars, vans and SUV's starting in either the 2014 or 2015 model years.
More than 200 people die every year when they are run over by cars that back into them. In many of those case, children are struck when the driver failed to see them standing or playing behind the car.
At least 17,000 people are injured.
A back-up cameras allows the driver a wide view of the area behind the car using a dashboard video screen, even at night.
The cameras cost anywhere from $60 to $200. Critics say don't like the add-on to a new car's price sticker. Some say they just don't like another federal mandate.
But could the cost be worth it.
We spoke with three families as they loaded their children into cars outside a westside community center Thursday. Before they backed out of their parking spaces, we asked if they saw a child-sized obstacle in their rearview mirrors, .
"I don't see anything," said one motorist. "It's the tinted glass, there's nothing back there."
But there was. We slipped a three-foot high orange traffic cone behind the cars. We pulled it away before they could run over it.
They all agreed it made them think about the usefulness of the back-up cameras.
We couldn't fool Mike Selby. He has a backup camera on his newer SUV. "It's very helpful," Selby told us. "This particular one lets me see straight down and out."
We tried slipping that same traffic cone behind Selby's back bumper, but he saw it before he took his foot off the brake
"And I can look at fit from a different angle too," Selby said. "I definitely would not have engaged the reverse and hit the child."
Besides concerns by some about cost and regulation, there's one other potential downside. The small screen is just one more thing for a driver to monitor in an already busy passenger compartment.