Without doubt backup cameras that project a small image of what’s behind your vehicle when reversing has helped prevent countless accidents--and also made parking a whole lot easier--and soon the handy feature may be standard on all new cars sold across the country.

Federal safety regulators, namely the DOT's vehicle-safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are proposing that backup cameras be made standard on all new vehicles by 2014, a requirement that may cost upwards of $2.7 billion.

Within its proposal, the NHTSA stated that based on its testing, a camera-based system is the only effective technology that is currently offered to improve rear visibility. There was speculation that radar/sonar sensors would be deemed acceptable, but NHTSA’s proposal indicates otherwise.

The proposed phase-in period for backup warning devices is as such: 10 percent of new vehicles must comply by September 2012, 40 percent by September 2013 and 100 percent by September 2014.

According to the NHTSA, 292 people are killed each year by vehicles reversing, most of them small children.

[NHTSA via TheCarConnection]