NRMA Insurance QLD Calling for Reversing Cameras on New Cars

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NRMA Insurance is calling for manufacturers to continue including reversing cameras on new cars, with today's release of its 2009 Reversing Visibility Index.

Both Ford and Toyota are to be congratulated on their move to introduce reversing cameras to the large vehicle category - meaning more Australian families will have access to this life-saving technology

NRMA Insurance, the Queensland Car Insurance provider, is calling for manufacturers to continue including reversing cameras on new cars, with today's release of its 2009 Reversing Visibility Index.

Of the 205 cars tested, five per cent scored the full five stars, up from zero in 2004.

The good news for consumers is that 22 new cars now offer reversing cameras as either a standard or optional feature, compared with just one model in 2004.

Significantly, for the first time, cameras are now available on popular Australian-built large cars, with both the Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry/Aurion introducing it as either an optional or standard feature on selected vehicles.

And Queensland drivers appear set to embrace the trend with nearly 80 per cent agreeing a reversing camera is a worthwhile safety feature*. In the last 12 months, nearly 40 per cent of them have experienced a near-miss while reversing and not only is this very dangerous but is increasing car insurance rates.

"Both Ford and Toyota are to be congratulated on their move to introduce reversing cameras to the large vehicle category - meaning more Australian families will have access to this life-saving technology," he said.

"We encourage other manufacturers to follow this lead. Less than ten years ago, no manufacturers had reversing cameras, but around half now have them on at least one of their models.

"It's also pleasing to see manufacturers of more affordable cars, like Kia for example, also embrace this technology.

NRMA Car Insurance spokesperson Robert McDonald said the results were encouraging, but there was still more that both manufacturers and consumers could be doing.

"Display screens are already installed in many new cars for audio, GPS and air-conditioning, so a reversing camera can easily be added to the existing system. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to make them available."

Parents not looking to upgrade the family car soon should consider buying a reversing camera and having it retro-fitted. A properly installed camera could improve the visibility of a car to a five-star standard.

"Although reversing cameras will improve safety significantly, there's still no substitute for proper supervision when it comes to kids and cars," Mr McDonald said.        

NRMA Insurance Reversing Visibility Index

The Index has been developed so drivers can compare the reversing safety of new cars. It takes into account the visible area and distance across the rear of the vehicle and whether cameras and sensors have been installed. Results are rated on a scale of zero to five stars, with a rating of five indicating better reversing visibility than all other vehicles.

The full results of NRMA Insurance's Reversing Visibility Index can be viewed at
http://www.nrmaqld.com.au

*Survey of 500 Queensland drivers conducted for NRMA Insurance by Pure Profile, September 2009

About NRMA Insurance
NRMA Insurance Queensland is an insurance provider offering Car Insurance in QLD, Motorcycle Insurance, Home Insurance and more.

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Sue Hawkins
NRMA QLD
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