The U.S. Transportation Department of Transportation is two-and-a-half years overdue in issuing a mandate for rear visibility cameras, and advocacy groups want it passed now.
Find out more about a ruling that could save hundreds of lives annually.
Three advocacy groups and two parents who accidentally backed over their children are asking a court to force the U.S. Transportation Department to issue a long-delayed in new cars.
The department is 2 1/2 years overdue in issuing one of the most expensive pending rules identified by President Barack Obama’s administration, with costs to automakers estimated at as much as $2.7 billion.
“In light of the extent of the delay, the repeated self-granted extensions, and the hundreds of preventable deaths and thousands of preventable injuries that will occur while the public waits for the final rule, this court should let [the] agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough,” the groups said in the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.
Washington-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Kids and Cars Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri, and Yonkers, New York-based Consumers Union said they will petition the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan today, asking for action within 90 days.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Transportation Department, issued a proposed rule in 2010.
“DOT should issue the rule requiring rear visibility cameras as the Congress requested four years ago to save the lives of very small children and older Americans, and to make sure all Americans have these cameras on their new vehicles,” said Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group. “Our lawsuit is essential to get the agency to do its job.”
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said yesterday in an e-mail that the department still plans to issue the rule.
Foxx’s predecessor, Ray LaHood, in June told lawmakers the department was delaying the rule for a fourth time and setting a self-imposed new deadline of Jan. 2, 2015. A 2008 law requiring rear-view visibility improvements set Feb. 28, 2011, as the deadline to publish a final rule.
NHTSA has said an average of 292 people — primarily children and the elderly — die each year in backover accidents and half those deaths could be prevented by requiring cameras.