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Safety is good but mandatory...not so much

October 31, 2014
Shepherdstown Chronicle

I saw a recent news blurb about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issuing a proposed rule requiring all new light vehicles - including cars, SUVs, trucks and vans - to have "rear-view visibility systems," in effect, requiring backup cameras.

The rule -- which would be final in 60 days -- would start phasing in on May 1, 2016 models and be at 100 percent May 1, 2018.

While I am all for safety measures, the over-reaching arm of government is once more extending in where individual responsibility lies.

Yes, these cameras offer a level of added safety; however, they also can lead to a level of carelessness by the driver who will rely on technology rather than human ability and judgment. What happens when technology fails and the accident that could have been prevented by one who relies too much on the technology doesn't give enough human attention to driving?

And what of the folks who simply won't be able to afford one of these vehicles? I have had friends already tell me how "inexpensive" these cameras are; they can be bought now for a few hundred dollars and installed in older models. Well, many folks, especially who drive older models, don't have a few hundred dollars lying around.

And call me a pessimist, but I believe auto manufacturers surely will bump up prices for this new "modern technology."

Personally, I would love to have a rear view camera. I think it would be an enhancement to my driving ability; however, I don't want the government telling me I have to have one.

How will that be enforced? I assume it will be the auto makers who will get hit with that, again making the prices jump through the roof for new vehicles equipped with these cameras. Once required by the government, the accountability and liability on the part of the auto manufacturer goes up even more as well so costs will go up to cover failures in the equipment. We all know there will be those failures.

Let's just let those who wish to have them have them. But let's make a move back toward personal responsibility and ability to drive without requiring the installation of one of these cameras. Let's not have the government in control of one more area of our lives.

 
 
 

 

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