I think the number of things the federal government thinks it can mandate has gotten a little out of hand, don't you? First, mandatory individual health care coverage, and now... rear-view cameras?
Obama Aug. 30 listed the seven proposals in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, responding to the Ohio Republican’s request for pending regulations that would cost business $1 billion or more.
Four proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency had the highest projected costs. The other $1 billion rule, proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, would require rear-view cameras on cars. NHTSA was required to write that rule under a 2008 law passed by Congress.
Congressional Republicans have focused on regulation as a barrier to reducing unemployment. Obama’s administration last month said it would eliminate unneeded rules to save businesses $10 billion over five years.
Great, how about we start "saving" money by not enacting dumb rules like requiring rear-view cameras?
As Hot Air points out, aside from legislating away common sense, this expensive rule would have negligible effects:
Supposedly, pedestrian deaths caused by drivers backing into them number, on average, around 300 per year. But the NHTSA admits that the mandatory installation of these cameras might cut that down by roughly one third. And for this we’ll be driving up the per vehicle cost by as much as $200 for a total bill of $2.7B per year.
Saving lives is always a good thing and I’m not about to try to put a price tag on the value of any individual one, but there’s a larger point to be made here. You’ll note that the installation of such cameras doesn’t stop or even cut in half such accidents. Why? Because we’re not talking about a design failure or product quality issue in terms of the cars. We’re talking about bad drivers who don’t check behind them and run people down. Cameras, I’m sorry to say, are never going to overcome the sheer weight of human stupidity and carelessness.
Is this the proper role of government regulation, to say nothing of a cost-effective tool for the consumer during tight economic times? Might we perhaps save a few dollars by mandating, instead of cameras, signs on the dashboard that say, “Hey, dummy. Look behind you before placing vehicle in reverse?”