Someone had to post it: http://xkcd.com/618/
I was impressed with the camera on my parents Camry but the cameras still don't cover the entire car. The driver still needs to check the mirrors to make sure the lil'uns aren't coming down the sidewalk and are about to walk behind the car. It's an improvement, but the fear that people will solely rely on them is a problem. It's the same with the new sensors for blind spots on the side of the car...they can detect a cars presence, but are not as good at detecting motorcycles.
It's a proactive adjustment for NEW cars only. They ARE NOT mandating that cars be retrofitted with the equipment. The 250 million car number, therefore, is incorrect and thereby makes your cost analysis incorrect. On another note, it's not only lives saved. My friend just a few weeks ago had $3000 in damage done to her car in the lot at work because some jacktard hit her car backing out (and then drove off...) which might have been avoided if the camera was there. It might prevent the needless deaths of children and might also prevent some smaller claims (helping reduce insurance for all...maybe). Since we are in refusal to increase the skill requirements for licensing, I think overall this is a good thing. In the end, most drivers are actually quite horrible. [and as always, 50% are in the bottom half of skill level]
29.95/month here. I use pageplus with a phone I bought off ebay. Almost any Verizon phone works on their network and I'm currently using a droid2. The plan has plenty of minutes (1200) and texts (2000) and data (100mb) and they keep increasing the limits. Best part is it uses the verizon network, so I didn't lose anything when I told them to screw off with their outrageous prices.