Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant :::::
Federal regulators call them backover events; those heartbreaking accidents, often involving small children, wherein a rearward-moving vehicle strikes and often injures, sometimes fatally, someone standing in or crossing its path. For many years, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) have required rear and side-view mirrors to, in part, help minimize such incidents; yet, studies show that nearly 300 fatalities, and over 18,000 injuries, occur annually due to backover events. In apparent recognition of this risk, some auto manufacturers have begun equipping vehicles with back-up cameras and dash-mounted displays; in fact, all vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less will soon be required to have them.
To be clear, FMVSS 111 requires that vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 pounds or less be equipped with a rear-view image display that activates upon placing the vehicle’s transmission in reverse. While the legislation does not specifically mandate back-up cameras, the reality is that there is no other practical way to comply with the standard except to use a camera system.
In addition to passenger cars and light trucks, vehicles manufactured in stages will also be required to comply. The implication here is that an incomplete chassis possessing a back-up camera system must retain that functionality after any final-stage modifications such as cargo boxes or towing packages are installed. This legislation became active on May 1, 2018, thus in practical terms, all 2019 model-year vehicles 10,000 pounds or less will be equipped with back-up cameras.
For additional information on the Regulations, please contact Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant to R. Scott King, BSME, at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.