A Look Back:
Top 10 Highlights of 2015
Below are links to several media articles that provide additional information about this emerging and dangerous topic.
'Look Before You Lock' Program Going Strong
Parent education program a huge success
Thanks to the generous support of Toyota, KidsAndCars.org has provided more than 700,000 'Look Before You Lock' parent education cards to more than 600 hospital birthing centers nationwide. Our goal is to encourage parents to place their belongings in the back seat to get into the habit of always looking in the back seat before they lock the car. Thanks also to Petsmart for the generous contributions of our furry friends Lucky and Chance that are also given to new parents when they have a baby!
NEW 'Look Before You Lock' PSAs & Billboards!
KidsAndCars.org partnered with Fort Bend County, TX law enforcement community and launched new'Look Before You Lock' Public Service Announcement videos at a press event in May. We also launched a new 'Look Before You Lock' billboard campaign!
NEW Blindzone Awareness Pilot Program in the Greater Kansas City area
Thanks to a very generous grant from State Farm, KidsAndCars.org launched the Blindzone Awareness Kit (BAK) pilot program in the Greater Kansas City area.
The goal of the program is to educate the public about the dangers of vehicle blindzones and what can be done to keep children (and adults) safe in and around vehicles. Each BAK comes complete with everything needed to do a hands-on blindzone demonstration utilizing any vehicle in addition to a binder with print materials, videos, charts, graphics, posters and electronic files, etc. Another advantage of these kits is that they can be used again and again to educate countless drivers.
KidsAndCars.org is providing BAKs free of charge to local companies and agencies that have employees driving in the community on a regular basis such as utility companies, city public works departments, law enforcement, home-maintenance businesses, child passenger safety techs, parent education programs, etc. We have learned that backing crashes account for a disproportionate number of work place vehicle accidents for most of these groups.
KidsAndCars.org has presented and performed blindzone demonstrations at employee safety training courses, trained supervisors to educate their teams, worked with local media, exhibited at local conferences, etc.
Participants have been thrilled to receive the BAK materials and eager to use them to show employees first-hand how little can be seen behind vehicles due to blindzones. Below are a few pictures of our enthusiastic program participants.
Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award
Janette Fennell receives award from Consumer Federation of America
KidsAndCars.org's President and Founder, Janette Fennell received the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award at the Consumer Federation of America's 45th Annual Awards Dinner on, June 24th in Washington, DC. Congratulations to our fearless leader! The KidsAndCars.org team is proud to work with such a distinguished and relentless champion for children.
Below is a statement from Janette's acceptance speech;
"It is an extreme honor to receive Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award tonight. She was a tireless and effective champion of the rights of women, workers, and consumers. As the highest-ranking woman official in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, she dramatically changed the lives of every American in so many positive ways. Just having my name said in the same sentence or paragraph with Esther Peterson is on honor in itself."
Woman of Distinction Award
Congratulations to KidsAndCars.org VP, Sue Auriemma for receiving the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction
from Senator Martins for her devotion and passion for helping others.
On behalf of the KidsAndCars.org family, we would like to extend a very special thank you to 'Super Safety Sue' our colleague, sister and friend for her tireless efforts and unwavering dedication to child safety.
Sue works with the KidsAndCars.org team on a daily basis, volunteering her time and many talents. She is always willing to do whatever needs to be done and with a smile on her face and a positive attitude.
Sue's life was forever changed by a near-tragedy. Sue was backing up her SUV in her driveway and her youngest daughter, Kate, had snuck out of the house and gotten behind the vehicle, where Sue was unable to see her. Kate was backed over, but miraculously survived with only minor injuries. Since this terrifying experience, Sue has been a fearless advocate working with KidsAndCars.org to keep children safe and this is only part of the wonderful work she does to help others.
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act Pub. L. 114-94 (FAST Act)
KidsAndCars.org worked hard along with other safety advocacy groups to stand up for safety in the federal transportation bill. With the help of our dedicated supporters, we were able to add, ameliorate or defeat some very dangerous proposals in the bill. We were victorious in numerous David v. Goliath battles including;
- Require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to complete research on technology to prevent children from being left alone in vehicles
- Require rental cars with recalls be repaired before being rented to consumers
- Stopped double 33' tractor trailer trucks from being allowed on our roads and highways
- Stopped the proposed increase in federal truck weight limits to 91,000 lbs.
- Limiting teen truck drivers to drive semi-trucks across state lines
- Increased funding for NHTSA, among many others.
Fantastic NEW video, kids tell it all!
In this fantastic new video, kids tell us why it is so important to support KidsAndCars.org.
A very special thank you to Brian Malicoat for donating his time and talents to film and edit the video for us! And another special thank you to the amazing children featured in the video.
National Heatstroke Awareness & Prevention Days
KidsAndCars.org had a very strong presence on National Heat Stroke Awareness Day on May 23 and Heat Stroke Prevention Day on July 31.
KAC is committed to saving the lives of children
who die in hot vehicles each year with our proactive safety campaigns.
These campaigns were a huge success with an unprecedented amount of social media involvement.
KidsAndCars.org and parent advocates participated in media interviews and provided data and other safety information to local and national media outlets.
Visibility: Now it's a Household Word!
When KidsAndCars.org set out over ten years ago to prevent backover deaths and injuries, the words "rearward visibility" didn't quite roll off the tongue of most Americans. Lack of rearward visibility is contributing to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year and most people didn't even know it was an issue. Not only that, auto manufacturers were not addressing the lack of visibility around their entire vehicles. Today, it's a very different story!
Fast forward to 2016. After seeing the hard work of so many amazing KidsAndCars.org advocates pay off when the rearward visibility standard was issue
by NHTSA, (April 2014) it's become quite rare to read any vehicle reviews without a serious discussion about rearward visibility and rearview cameras. Technology is moving forward quickly with some vehicle manufacturers offering the ability to see all the way around your vehicle with front, side and rearview cameras. Visibility is improving and pedestrians, especially children and the elderly, are much better protected as a result.
And, as if we aren't celebrating enough that children are safer around vehicles, we noticed this headline; "
Automakers View Cameras as Essential Safety Equipment!
" Read the full article and better understand the discussion of how some manufacturers envision cameras replacing our mirrors for increased visibility, aerodynamics and better fuel mileage.
(Please note: Cameras never replace proper supervision of children and do not replace the need to look over your shoulder and scan your surroundings while driving in reverse.)