According to Transport Canada, all new cars sold in Canada will need to have a backup camera system installed. This new mandatory law will aim to reduce accidents, specifically involving children, elderly folks, and people with disabilities.
From 2004 – 2009, Transport Canada estimated that there were over 1,500 injuries and 27 fatalities which could have potentially been avoided by a rearview camera system.
This initiative aligns with an American announcement back in 2014 for backup camera regulation. Our southern neighbours have stated this new law will become mandatory in 2018 as well. It is no surprise that Transport Canada would come out with a similar announcement. After all, we do share a border, the same vehicles, many of the same laws, and a very similar culture. It will also be easier for car manufacturers to keep the same standards for both countries, and not have to worry about different regulations while in production.
What type of vehicles will have the mandatory backup camera?
All new light vehicles that weigh 10,000 lbs or less will have this mandatory backup camera requirement. This includes:
- Passenger cars
- Light trucks
- Small vans
On the surface, this new requirement seems great in terms of keeping our citizens safe, but are there any negatives to this new law? There are two major negatives that we can think of:
- The cost of vehicles will most likely go up. Backup camera technology is not necessarily new anymore, but it still costs money, parts, and labour to implement. A lot of current model cars come with the option to have have the camera, but of course these packages are more expensive. For example, if you look at the 2017 Toyota Corolla, it has six available trim lines, with two of them not offering the backup camera. The price difference is substantial for people on a budget. These packages do come with extra features which also inflates the price, but the camera is a major reason.
- It will make the new generation of drivers lazy and less willing to use their mirrors. This is a major talking point because it is extremely important to check your mirrors when you drive, especially when you go in reverse. Checking your mirrors and blindspots are part of driving, and are critical grading factors when going for your driving examination to get your license. Try driving with a backup camera for a year, then switching back to a vehicle without one and see how you cope. For some, the transition can be quite difficult as they have become so reliant on the assistance of a camera.
Is the new backup camera law a good thing?
Overall, yes it is a positive, as it will cause less accidents and citizen fatalities. Being safe is the most important thing when driving, but with that being said, make sure you do not forget how to use your mirrors.
A tip of advice: Use your backup camera to judge the distance between your rear bumper and any obstacle behind you including small children and other pedestrians. When parallel parking, or reversing into a parking space, it is still wise to use your side mirrors to judge how much space you have on either side, and so you do not forget how to use them.