N.J. advances measure allowing rearview camera use during driving test

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

A rearview backup camera can’t be used now when taking a road test to get a driver’s license in New Jersey. A bill advancing through the Legislature, however, would change that.

A New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission spokeswoman said the aim is to test the driver, not the car, so the camera must be disabled or covered during the road test.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli has sponsored legislation that would permit the camera’s use during the test.

“I’ve actually had to practice more backing up my car with the camera than I did using the mirrors because it’s a whole different feel and technique,” said Burzichelli, D-Gloucester. “So you’d think as part of the test, they would encourage a new person getting a license to be able to do both — use a mirror and be able to properly utilize a backup camera.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require all new vehicles to have the backup cameras and sensors by May of 2018, said AAA New Jersey spokeswoman Cathleen Lewis.

“So not allowing for road tests to be taken with those cameras and sensors will not only create an inconvenience for parents and their children, but it will also not allow them to learn on technology that’s going to be required in all cars,” she said.

Those cameras are intended to protect children, the elderly, and the disabled who have the highest risk of being injured in back-over accidents.

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