2024 SPRING NEWSLETTER

Awareness is good. Action is better.

YOU DID IT! You helped us reach our $50,000 holiday fundraising goal!

A huge thank you goes out to each and every one of you who helped us reach our goal of raising $50,000 in December. Please know that all of your contributions were doubled thanks to our amazing matching donors – The Fennell family, the DanaJames Family Foundation and The Gregson family. It is the unwavering support of people like YOU who allow us to continue making huge strides in making vehicles and the world safer for children. Every dollar has an impact on these little lives and you should all be very proud of your contribution to making this world a safer place for our children.

TAKE ACTION: Move the Hot Car Final Rule Forward ASAP!

The Federal Hot Car rule, requiring available and affordable technology in all new cars to end hot car deaths has been unacceptably delayed, missing the critical deadline mandated by Congress in bipartisan legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). 


We need YOUR help to urge agency decision-makers and your members of Congress to take action immediately. We can’t afford any more delays – too many lives are at stake.  Click the button below for two simple and quick ways you can help us move this rulemaking forward ASAP. 

Take Action!

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Final Rule Issued

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released on Monday (4/29/24) a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) which makes automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB), standard on all passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029. According to the agency, this safety standard is expected to significantly reduce rear-end and pedestrian crashes, saving at least 360 lives a year and preventing at least 24,000 injuries annually.


Kids and Car Safety applauds this big step forward for safety, yet we are disappointed with several aspects of the final rule. 

  1. The rule requires the AEB/PAEB systems to work at speeds of 6.2 miles per hour and above. Most nontraffic frontovers involving children run over in parking lots and driveways occur at speeds below 6.2 miles per hour. The final rule does not take into consideration low-speed frontovers.
  2. The test procedures to ensure compliance will use two dummies – one that is the stature of a 50th percentile man and the other one is the size of the average 6 to 7-year-old child. Sadly, women, children smaller than 6 to 7-years-old, cyclists, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable road users were not considered in these testing procedures. 


Kids and Car Safety remains committed to ensuring that standards are required to address frontover tragedies that are injuring and killing children. We are hoping to get the STOP Frontovers Act reintroduced during this legislative session.

Check out the “What Was That Like” podcast featuring our president's story


When people ask Janette how she got started in injury prevention her answer is always the same… kicking and screaming. Check out this new podcast featuring Janette’s terrifying kidnapping and survival story that changed her life forever. 


https://WhatWasThatLike.com/172

Nontraffic Data Collection

During 2023, KACS documented 2,086 nontraffic incidents that would have otherwise gone undocumented. Our work to collect data and document these serious nontraffic threats to safety has resulted in identifying unrecognized problems, proposing solutions, and effecting change. Our data collection, research, and analysis are the basis of everything we do and a critical part of our mission. 


A big thank you to our data entry specialist volunteers who have given countless hours of their time to help enter nontraffic data into our unique database. We would be lost without you! Learn more about our data HERE.


NEW Nontraffic Crash Report Issued by the NHTSA

Based on the Non-Traffic Surveillance (NTS) system, an estimated 3,990 people were killed in non-traffic motor vehicle crashes during 2021, an increase of 26 percent compared to 3,157 people killed in 2020.

Read the full report HERE.

State Law Updates

Three new state bills have been introduced and one passed to help prevent child hot car tragedies. 


Florida Jace Lucas Leslie Act (SB 690

The bill calls for unattended occupant alarm systems to be used in all vehicles transporting children aged 6 and under in the state of Florida. The bill calls for a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the requirement and sets minimum safety standards for technology. No other state has introduced a requirement for hot car technology in all vehicles. The bill also amends childcare licensing standards requiring them to contact families if a child does not arrive as scheduled. 


Florida Ariya’s Act (SB 554) PASSED

Ariya’s Act was passed and signed by the governor. The new law designates April as “Hot Car Death Prevention Month” in the state of Florida to raise awareness about preventing hot car deaths. The bill was named after Airya who tragically lost her life after being left in a childcare provider’s vehicle. Her grandmother and family were instrumental in helping pass this important legislation and we are so proud of their efforts.


Kansas Unattended Children in Vehicles Bill (HB 2680)

In February, Kansas introduced a bill making it illegal to leave children age 8 or younger alone in vehicles. The bill passed the Committee but was not voted on in the House. We will try again next year. A big thank you to Representative Robyn Essex for championing this important piece of legislation and being such a strong advocate for children.


Pennsylvania Gambling Bill (SB 1021)

In 2022, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board identified more than 285 reported instances involving 464 children being left alone while guardians were in casinos, many of which were left alone in vehicles.This legislation would require casinos to make reasonable efforts to inform patrons against leaving unattended minors in their vehicle, hotel room, or other locations while using casino facilities. The bill adds several means to discourage parents and guardians from taking their children to a casino facility and leaving them unattended. Lastly, the bill aims to assist individuals who violate a casino self-exclusion list with obtaining treatment for gambling addiction.


Learn more about the state laws in your state HERE.

New Resources for Early Childhood Educators

Kids and Car Safety was invited by the amazing national early childhood program Parents as Teachers to help develop resources on keeping children safe in and around vehicles. These resources will be available to their 8,555 parent educators serving 186,499 families in 2024. We are extremely grateful for the work they do for our little ones and for the opportunity to work with them to help bring safety messages to families through their trusted parent educators. Thank you, Parents as Teachers!

Lifesavers Conference 2024

Kids and Car Safety (KACS) has been attending the Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities for decades and this year was another successful conference helping bring awareness to nontraffic dangers to children and others. The workshop presented by KACSwas entitled, ““Eliminate Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke Through Research, Education & Technology.”

In The News


Janette was kidnapped, “What Was That Like” podcast, real people in unreal situations.


Expert warns of hot car deaths as weather warms up (WBBJ TV)


Bundle of Joy: Laura Beck’s Story


Beck’s Backseat to Change Podcast by Laura Beck


Explosion of e-commerce calls for safety features that deliver 


InvestigateTV+ - Season 1; Episode 3 – Hot Car Dangers

Thank you to our sponsors who make it possible for us to continue the important work of saving the lives of children and pets all year long. We are eternally grateful for your unwavering support.

 

American Home Safety Products, AsahiKASEI, CleverElly, Dana James Family Foundation, Florin Roebig Car Crash Attorneys, Freer Logic, Ride & Remind, MODOT, Safe Ride 4 Kids, State Farm, TEGO Automotive Products, Inc., Toyota, Vayyar, Venturi LLC, VOXX Automotive.


For information on how to become a KACS sponsor, please contact Amber@kidsandcars.org.

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