While the government has passed regulations mandating backup cameras, simpler tech still doesn’t have to come standard.
ar enthusiasts don’t tend to like regulations. They want emissions requirements that allow straight-piped manual diesel wagons. They prefer crash tests that rank somewhere near “3rd-grade spelling test” in terms of difficulty. And when you say side-impact, they’re not thinking about saved lives but rising beltlines. Everything they hate about cars, from the widening A-pillars to the ballooning curb weights, is a result of an NHTSA that’s too quick to mandate. The biggest overreach, they’ll say, is the soon-to-take-effect requirement that all new cars be equipped with backup cameras. The government, to them, requires things that we simply don’t need.
What may come as a surprise, then, is what the government doesn’t require. I wanted to make a list, for my own reference, of compulsory safety equipment and when it became standard. Starting alphabetically, I searched for when the NHTSA banned cars without anti-lock braking systems (ABS) from sale in the U.S. Well, they didn’t. Ever.