Skip to main content

Safety is one of the most important things we look for when purchasing a vehicle and the auto industry is consistently looking for ways they can make each and every vehicle safer for passengers and pedestrians alike.

As many may already know, Transport Canada announced late last year that rear-view cameras will be mandatory in all new cars and small trucks beginning in May 2018.  The requirement for the back-up visibility will see Canadian standards aligned with that of the United States, which Transport Canada states, “will satisfy manufacturers who want to eliminate regulatory differences between the two countries.”

It will also provide the same safety regulations as the U.S., so Canadians will then have the equivalent protection legislated for any back-up misdemeanours.

One of the primary reasons for introducing rear-view cameras of course is to protect the young and vulnerable people within our communities. Between 2004 and 2009, there were more than 1,500 injuries and 24 fatalities resulting from reverse collisions reported in Canada. These incidents mainly occurred in parkades and driveways with children. Among those also included in the vulnerable category are elderly and cyclists, both of which groups factored in high percent in the accident statistics.

Blind spots in many vehicles prevent drivers from seeing objects below the bumper, pick-ups and SUV’s having a significantly greater blind spot than smaller cars. And it’s not just bigger vehicles that can increase your blind spots; simple factors like the driver’s height can increase and decrease visibility.

Larger vehicles are frequently involved in rear view collisions and according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadians are now purchasing more SUV’s and light truck vehicles than ever before, reporting that in 2016 there was a 9.3% increase in sales of these vehicles.

Although not mandatory yet, those considering these vehicles should definitely keep, paradoxically speaking, the rear-view camera in the forefront of their minds when buying. But just how much extra will it cost you

While back-up cameras have been introduced into the base price of many entry-level vehicles including the Honda Civic LX, Ford’s entry-level Focus and Chevrolet’s Colorado pick-up, there will be an additional cost for many future car buyers. Prices can range upwards of $150 for those interested in adding a camera to their current vehicle, but that’s before installation and assuming you already have a monitor within your car.

Other manufacturers are now offering the equipment necessary as approved accessories. Fiat Chrysler, for example, offer kits for permitted vehicles using the existing radio as the monitor. This can cost the consumer an estimated $420. For those without monitors, rear view mirror monitors have become a popular choice, as they don’t take up any space on your dashboard.

All this equipment can be easy to install yourself, but it is best to take advice from your local qualified auto shop. Keeping our roads safe is incredibly important, and hopefully we will see a significant reduction of rear view accidents in the coming years. Check out this technology and other car safety features at the 2017 Vancouver International Auto Show, March 28 – April 2. Tickets are on sale now:

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].