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Thread: Mandatory back-up cameras?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Should back-up cameras (designed to prevent kids from being run over by vehicles moving in reverse) be mandatory equipment in every new car sold? If legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Sununu -- the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act -- is signed into law, they will be.

    But should they?

    A number of not-unreasonable objections might be raised. Just in the way of food for thought:

    For one (and unlike, say, padded dashboards or even anti-lock brakes) the "safety" advantage of back-up cameras is debatable. In the first place, one could all but eliminate the chances of running over a child by making sure no babies or small kids are left sitting in the path of the vehicle before one even thinks of putting the vehicle in reverse. This does not seem an undue burden. Small children should be supervised at all times to begin with; it's arguably negligent (and not the vehicle's fault) to operate any machinery when small children are present. Lawn mowers -- or SUVs. Make sure the kids are not nearby. Turn your head; take a look back there.

    It's not all that difficult.

    The real problem is harried, over-extended (and thus not-paying-attention) parents aren't doing that. With one hand on the cell phone and half their attention someplace else -- and always in a big hurry -- they jump in the vehicle and throw it in Reverse with nary a thought to what might be laying in harm's way.

    And since our society's first impulse is to look anywhere but in the mirror for a scapegoat, the automakers get targeted. It's their fault -- for not having closed-circuit cameras (with jarring buzzers, of course) to warn us of our own negligence before we have to deal with the consequences of that negligence.

    One feels terrible for the children who have been harmed as a result of parental negligence. But it is, ultimately, an issue of parental negligence. Adding expensive idiot-proofing technology to vehicles doesn't address the underlying idiocy; it will almost certainly find expression elsewhere.

    Closed circuit monitors and back-up cameras add yet another potential distraction to the vehicle -- which is itself a safety hazard. Instead of paying attention to what's going on around us, we gape at a TV screen. Brilliant. Moreover, it's probably not savvy to encourage yet more reliance on yet more technology -- rather than encouraging people to using their brains (and, hopefully common sense).

    Another point: Not everyone has kids. In fact, more than half the population doesn't have kids. Forcing them to buy back-up cameras designed specifically to prevent the driver from running over a small child while backing up is not much different, when you think about it, than requiring everyone to drive a minivan with baby seats -- kids or not.

    No kids, no need for a back-up camera. But Sens. Clinton and Sununu want to score political points with the "safety" lobby -- and hand the bill to you.

    And the bill is considerable. Scan the options sheets of new cars that offer back-up cameras as optional equipment. The less expensive ones are several hundred dollars. Some are "bundled" with other things --like GPS navigation -- that add $1,000 or more to the bottom line. Bear in mind, the technology requires a closed circuit TV monitor built into the dashboard someplace, along with the cameras themselves and all the related gizmos and gadgetry.

    And like any complex system, eventually, the thing will stop working or need expensive repairs if you own the vehicle more than couple of years. Pity the second owner -- or you, if you are the kind of person who keeps his car for eight or ten years or more.

    The bill's out there, waiting for you.

    For Sens. Clinton and Sununu, a couple hundred bucks more or less (or even $1,000) on the front end -- and whatever it costs to fix the thing down the road -- is just so much small change. They are both millionaires -- and can afford to indulge themselves. Most of us, of course are not -- and cannot. A couple extra hundred bucks can be a very big deal indeed -- let alone $1,000 (or more).

    Especially when turning around to look before we back-up -- and making sure we know where our kids are before we do -- is so much cheaper.

  2. #2
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Should back-up cameras (designed to prevent kids from being run over by vehicles moving in reverse) be mandatory equipment in every new car sold? If legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Sununu -- the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act -- is signed into law, they will be.

    Idiotic! How many children are run over by vehicles moving in reverse? Who is doing it? Get mama off the cell phone and be rid of the dark glass in back and the problem will be gone.

    As to cost, when tire pressure monitors were being discussed a cost of 10 bucks per wheel was said to be about right for cost. That is probably on the high side for initial manufacture but at retail it's around 100 bucks each.

    What all of these things amount to is a 'stupid' tax which is paid by the not stupid as well as the stupid.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Should back-up cameras (designed to prevent kids from being run over by vehicles moving in reverse) be mandatory equipment in every new car sold? If legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Sununu -- the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act -- is signed into law, they will be.

    Idiotic! How many children are run over by vehicles moving in reverse? Who is doing it? Get mama off the cell phone and be rid of the dark glass in back and the problem will be gone.

    As to cost, when tire pressure monitors were being discussed a cost of 10 bucks per wheel was said to be about right for cost. That is probably on the high side for initial manufacture but at retail it's around 100 bucks each.

    What all of these things amount to is a 'stupid' tax which is paid by the not stupid as well as the stupid.
    Amen!

    At least two of us are opposed to this garbage...

  4. #4
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Typical of politicians - find an almost non-existent problem & mandate an expensive solution. Do they really think the people who don't bother to check behind their vehicle before reversing are going to look at a screen when they can't make the effort to look in mirrors?

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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Get mama off the cell phone and be rid of the dark glass in back and the problem will be gone.
    Agreed about the cell phone.

    But the design of minivans and SUVs is such that you can't see short people unless they're 20 ft behind you. Even if you twist your torso around to look. The line of sight just doesn't permit it.

    Should cameras be mandatory? No. But any responsible manufacturer would at least offer them as an option, along with the ultrasonic backup detectors.

    Or maybe glass panels in the trunk area, much like the old Honda CRX had.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Another case of the nanny state.......Hell I hope we don't have it down here.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph

    But the design of minivans and SUVs is such that you can't see short people unless they're 20 ft behind you. Even if you twist your torso around to look. The line of sight just doesn't permit it.

    Chip H.
    Then we need a law requiring everyone who can walk to be tall.


  8. #8
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Yup. Straight from crawling to joining the New York Knicks.
    ;D

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    I've always said that because driver licensing requirements are so minimal, we have a surplusage of marginal drivers; add to this mix enormous SUVs - and ta-da!

    The problem should not be surprising.

  10. #10
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Yup. Straight from crawling to joining the New York Knicks.
    ;D

    Chip H.
    Exactly, and when one looks back there will be a large, shiny belt buckle in sight.

  11. #11
    ColleenC1
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Absolutely ridiculous!! I did have a friend in elementary school who decided to hide behind the tire of a vehicle when playing "hide-n-seek" who got ran over. Nobody blamed the driver, if my friend hadn't been so hurt her parents would have probably spanked her for playing in the street and hiding behind a vehicle.

    And next they are going to have to put a camera under the vechicle, because when my son was in elementary school his friends decided to lay down on their skateboards and go down the hill under the vehicles, they came home talking about how "cool" it was to go under the big truck. Needless to say they were all on restriction for over a month and when they were off restriction they could only go out with adult supervision because of their "dumb" idea, if they had been ran over I don't think a parent would have ever blamed the driver.

    This is a stupid, stupid idea!

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by ColleenC1
    Absolutely ridiculous!! I did have a friend in elementary school who decided to hide behind the tire of a vehicle when playing "hide-n-seek" who got ran over. Nobody blamed the driver, if my friend hadn't been so hurt her parents would have probably spanked her for playing in the street and hiding behind a vehicle.

    And next they are going to have to put a camera under the vechicle, because when my son was in elementary school his friends decided to lay down on their skateboards and go down the hill under the vehicles, they came home talking about how "cool" it was to go under the big truck. Needless to say they were all on restriction for over a month and when they were off restriction they could only go out with adult supervision because of their "dumb" idea, if they had been ran over I don't think a parent would have ever blamed the driver.

    This is a stupid, stupid idea!
    Amen!

    And you raise an additional point I should have discussed in the article - namely, that it is irresponsible of parents not to teach their kids about the danger posed by motor vehicles - and discipline them to stay the heck away from one when it's moving or about to move.

    Stuff like this is emblematic of what I like to call the "breeder mentality." These people spawn and then expect the world to both accommodate them at every turn and help to raise their kids. It drives me batty.

    Example of include the breeders who bring their kids to the grocery store and allow them to run amok (or block aisles/access to the shelves) while they stand there oblivious to it all. Or bring their young kids (even babies) to an R-rated movie (after 9 in the evening, to boot). Or to an expensive restaurant (if you can pay $35 for an entree, you can afford a baby sitter). Etc.


  13. #13
    TC
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I've always said that because driver licensing requirements are so minimal, we have a surplusage of marginal drivers; add to this mix enormous SUVs - and ta-da!

    The problem should not be surprising.
    Surplusage?

  14. #14
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by TC
    Surplusage?
    A little bit less than excessage!

  15. #15
    mrblanche
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    A little bit less than excessage!
    But more than a shortage! (See, this is how we get new words in English! We'd all be under indictment and headed for the pokey in France.)

  16. #16
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    My new car came with a backup camera. It's a nice idea, although since it is very wide angle, everything looks very far away (even worse than the right side rear view mirror), and takes getting some used to.

    However, like any safety device, a backup camera needs to be used. No one ever backed up over a kid on purpose. The only time that kind of occurrence happens, is when there has been some kind of disconnect between a driver and good common sense. That can happen just as easily with a backup camera in a car as not.

  17. #17
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    A little bit less than excessage!
    But more than a shortage! (See, this is how we get new words in English! We'd all be under indictment and headed for the pokey in France.)
    In some areas, 'surplusage' is a long understood word and perfectly acceptable in its place.

  18. #18
    DonTom
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    I added a backup camera in my RV (which displays in the rear view mirror) and have found it to be very helpful. While it still requires some common sense to reverse, it helps a lot.

    BTW, I do know somebody who I used to work with whose wife killed their own kid by their car in reverse on their own driveway. It is a lot easier to run over somebody in reverse in a van, truck, or RV. The back up camera should be set to see low.

    IMO, larger vehicles such as vans & RV's, trucks, should have them by law. But not a bad idea in almost any vehicle, IMO.

    I have mine wired in my RV so I can use it even when driving to help see who is too close behind me. I can switch it to display my GPS map to see where I am at.

    -Don-

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    In an RV, ok.

    But in a passenger car?

    I maintain this is just another example of a "solution" to a "problem" that boils down to a relative handful of idiots whose irresponisble conduct then becomes the pretext for treating everyone as if they were equally idiotic.

  20. #20
    DonTom
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    Re: Mandatory back-up cameras?

    "But in a passenger car?"

    I bet it would save a few lives every year, including the one I mentioned in a previous message, as that was in a car. They are trying to make all vehicles as idiot proof as possible. It's mainly because:

    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity--But I'm not sure about the universe."
    -Albert Einstein


    -Don Quoteman

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