As of this week, more precisely May 1, 2018, a simple yet highly significant measure takes effect in Canada. From now on, all light vehicles, meaning those weighing less than 4,536 kg, will be required to have a backup camera if they are to be sold to Canadian consumers.
Rearview cameras are already present in the majority of recent models offered in the market, but in some cases the lower trims did not come equipped with them. As of May 1, that is no longer possible.
The design to make this piece of equipment mandatory goes back to April 2014, when the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the U.S. made the official announcement. Canada followed suit in 2016. Transport Canada statistics showed that, between 2004 and 2009, 27 people were found to have died due to a vehicle backing up into them, while another 1,500 were injured in similar circumstances. In the United States those numbers are even worse: some 200 people were killed and 15,000 injured by a vehicle backing up.
The NHTSA estimates that the new regulation will save between 60 and 70 lives every year south of the border. In Canada, authorities say that the presence of backup cameras will be a life-saver here as well.
In a case such as this, and given these atrocious statistics, it’s hard for anyone to be against virtue, and there’s no doubt everyone will benefit.
The backup cameras included in vehicles will be subject to certain regulations; notably they will need to provide drivers with a view that spans three metres in width and six metres in depth.