Reversing cameras save lives on driveways

All cars – new or old – should be required to have reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors, says the car review website    

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an active road safety campaigner, was commenting after the sentencing of a man for reversing over a young child.

Matthew-Wilson pointed to a major study showing that children were often invisible behind many popular cars.

“Drivers should always be careful when reversing, but often children can be very hard to spot. The safest solution is a reversing camera, which shows the driver what’s behind their vehicle.”          

Matthew-Wilson says reversing cameras are now "cheap as chips" and should be compulsory on all vehicles, adding that the government should make interest-free loans available to poorer families so that they can retrofit reversing cameras and parking sensors to the family vehicle.    

Matthew-Wilson advises that reversing cameras and parking sensors work best when installed together. He explains how his own reversing camera and parking sensors may have saved a child's life:    

“I was reversing out of a parking space at a supermarket. Like all good drivers I checked my three rear mirrors. Just as I began to reverse, a sudden beep warned me that a small child was running straight past the rear of my car. He appeared from nowhere, running across the reversing camera screen, then disappeared past the vehicle. He was too short to show up in my rear view mirror. If I had not had a reversing camera and parking sensors fitted, I could easily have reversed straight over this child.”


• Clive Matthew-Wilson has been actively campaigning on road safety issues for 25 years. Mentored by engineer Chris Coxon (former technical chair and founding member of the Australian New Car Assessment Program – ANCAP), Matthew-Wilson was the first person to publish crash test results in New Zealand. His research into seatbelt upgrades was awarded by the Australian Police Journal. Matthew-Wilson is a strong supporter of pedestrians’ and cyclists’ rights and has helped shape many major road safety policies in New Zealand.

Clive Matthew-Wilson is equally distrustful of all politicians. He is not affiliated with the Taxpayers’ Union nor any similar body.


Suggested reading:

• Why fines and the threat of disqualification don’t work for the highest risk drivers.

• Why asking people to drive safely is an expensive waste of time.

• Why advanced driver and rider training has no effect on the road toll.

(The second and third link are the same document).