U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, called for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) action to address child deaths due to frontovers. Recent demonstrations by investigative reporters have shown blind zones in front of some cars to be as big as 16 feet, obstructing children from view and putting them at risk of being run over.

“I am extremely troubled that large blind zones in front of SUVs are reportedly causing senseless deaths of children. In such instances, called ‘frontovers,’ tragedy strikes because a child in front of the car is not visible above the car’s hood and no warning occurs,” wrote Blumenthal to NHTSA Administrator Dr. Stephen Cliff. “I am sure you agree that even one child’s death is one too many. I write to ask for an update on steps by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to collect and make public relevant data and stop these preventable frontover tragedies.”

While Congress mandated in 2007 that NHTSA issue a rule to establish rear visibility standards in response to countless backover accidents, no such front visibility standards currently exist. Front visibility technology such as cameras and sensors are offered by some manufacturers, but usually only on expensive, upgraded models or for an additional fee.

“Safety is not – and should never be – a premium feature only available to those who can afford it; it should be the default,” Blumenthal continued.

To better understand the scope of the problem and inform comprehensive solutions, Blumenthal called on NHTSA to publish up-to-date non-traffic incident data, which these preventable frontover tragedies would fall under, and inquired about steps the agency is taking to protect children and parents. NHTSA last published its non-traffic surveillance data summary in 2018, which only covered incidents through 2015. More comprehensive data was last published in 2015, but only covered incidents through 2011.

“This delay in more than a decade in releasing data is simply unacceptable. Recent, updated data is critical to understanding the true scope of frontovers and the steps that can be taken to prevent these unnecessary and tragic incidents,” Blumenthal emphasized, pressing the agency to outline the steps it has taken to reduce and prevent frontovers, and any additional authorities it would need to address this issue.

This press release was made possible by:

Stephen Krauchick

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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