According to a news source, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed final rule that would require automobile and truck manufacturers to improve rear visibility in new vehicles by installing rearview cameras or similar technology. OMB, which gives final approval to new rules after reviewing their costs and benefits, reportedly received the proposed rule on December 25, 2013; the last time a similar rule was submitted for OMB review it languished for 19 months before DOT withdrew it.
A court reportedly ordered DOT to respond to a citizen petition seeking regulatory action in light of legislation directing the agency to adopt a final rule improving rear visibility by February 2011. Filed in September 2013 by auto safety advocates and parents represented by Public Citizen, the peti- tion appears to have spurred the agency to act; it responded just before filing its new rule with OMB. Safety organizations contend that backovers kill nearly 300 people each year and injure an additional 18,000 — most are children younger than age 5, senior citizens older than 75 or individuals with disabilities. Automakers claim that earlier versions of the rule would have imposed costly requirements and implementation challenges. See The Detroit News, January 2, 2014; CL&PBlog and Law360, January 3, 2014.
A court reportedly ordered DOT to respond to a citizen petition seeking regulatory action in light of legislation directing the agency to adopt a final rule improving rear visibility by February 2011.