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Think Out Loud

Requiring Rearview Cameras

Pete Springer/OPB

About 17,000 people every year are injured when cars back into them. About 228 people die — nearly half are children. The safety group has been pushing for a mandate that car manufacturers install a rearview camera in every new vehicle to prevent those deaths and injuries. The group has produced PSAs like this one, warning about the dangers of “bye-bye syndrome,” where a young child runs outside to wave to someone driving away.

The National Transportation Safety Board proposed the rule in late 2010 and the agency is expected to submit a final rule on rearview cameras to Congress this week. Many new cars already have the approximately $200 feature, but some question the millions spend to save relatively few lives, suggesting that money could be better spent elsewhere.

Do you have a car with a rearview camera? How useful is it? Have you ever had an accident where you crashed into something while driving in reverse that might have been prevented with a camera? If you’re thinking of buying a new car, do you mind paying up to $200 more for it?

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