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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Families of Truck Crash, “Hot Car” and Seatback Failure Victims, Safety & Consumer Advocates, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to Sound the Alarm on Lack of Needed Safety Upgrades in the U.S. Senate “Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021”

Crash deaths are skyrocketing – Must-pass legislation must include proven solutions that will save thousands of lives

WHEN: TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2021 at 2pm EST


VIRTUAL NEWS CONFERENCE – Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), families of truck crash, “hot car” and seatback failure victims, safety & consumer advocates, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will call on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to include urgently needed safety upgrades in surface transportation legislation scheduled for consideration by the Committee on June 16 including:

Vehicle Safety Technology and Other Vital Improvements:

  • Require proven crash avoidance technology in all new cars and trucks and ensure the technology will detect and respond to pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable roads users (VRUs) with a date certain for compliance;
  • Require detection and alert technology to prevent “hot car” deaths of children and pets;
  • Require driver monitoring systems by a date certain to prevent automation complacency and curb leading crash causes including distracted, impaired and drowsy driving;
  • Update the seat back standard to prevent seat back failures and the resulting fatalities and injuries which are often sustained by children properly restrained in the backseat;
  • Require improvements to hood and bumper standards by a date certain to better protect bicyclists, pedestrians and other VRUs;
  • Expand protections for issues associated with keyless ignition switches to address rollaways and curb carbon monoxide poisoning;

    Consumer Protections:

  • Update safety databases and improve early warning requirements with deadlines for action;
  • Require an overdue update of the New Car Assessment to Program (NCAP) to adequately address the safety of VRUs;
  • Prevent vehicles with unrepaired safety recalls from being sold, leased or loaned;

Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Upgrades:

  • Require side and front underride guards on trucks;
  • Improve school bus safety including seat belts, fire suppression and crash avoidance technologies, and curb school bus driver fatigue; and,
  • Improve motor carrier safety enforcement.

Speakers will also call on the Committee to strike anti-safety provisions that would increase the needless emotional and economic burden of motor vehicle crashes in our nation. Just last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that 38,680 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year, the most since 2007.


This virtual news conference will be live streamed and recorded on Zoom. CLICK HERE or copy and paste the following link in your browser to register:


  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair, U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security
  • Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
  • Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Norman Collins Sr., PhD (Charleston, SC), Dr. Collins lost his grandson, Norman Lee Van Collins III (Bishop), on May 29, 2011, at only 3-months-old after a miscommunication between Bishop’s father and a fellow churchgoer about who was bringing baby Bishop into church.
  • Jena Frost (Lyman, ME), Mother of 5-year-old Wyatt Frost, who was killed by a 25,050-pound Box Truck on November 18, 2016.
  • Jason Levine, Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety
  • Sam Loesche, Senior Legislative and Policy Representative, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Russell Swift (Port St. Lucie, FL), Co-Chair of Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.), Russell’s son Jasen Swift, a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in Nevada on October 14, 1993, when a semi-truck driven by a teen driver stalled while making an illegal turn across a road.
  • Andy Warner (Littleton, CO), Andy’s daughter Taylor Grace Warner, was killed in 2010 at just 17 months old when the front seat of their family car collapsed on top of her when they were struck from behind.
  • Dr. Deanna Wathington, Executive Board Chair, American Public Health Association

    Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.