News Conference: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Press Availability in Conjunction with Hearing: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Pete Daniels, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 202-408-1711 or 301-442-2249, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Rollins, KidsAndCars.org, 913-205-6973, amber@KidsAndCars.org
Last Year Reached a Record Number of Hot Car Deaths
With Summer Approaching, Now is the Time for Congress
to Require Lifesaving Rear Occupant Alert Technology
Congressional leaders will convene a press conference on Wednesday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST to talk about the preventable tragedy of vehicular heatstroke. In 2018 hot car deaths reached a record level with at least 52 children killed. Members of Congress will be joined by family members who have lost loved ones in hot car incidents, safety advocates, first responders and medical professionals to talk about technology that is available now to help stop these needless fatalities.
Additionally, on Thursday, May 23 at 10:00 a.m. EST, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce is holding a hearing, “Summer Driving Dangers: Exploring Ways to Protect Drivers and Their Families.” The hearing will explore technological solutions available to prevent hot car deaths as well as other critical safety advances that are needed to address the unacceptably high level of motor vehicle crashes, deaths and injuries. Safety advocates and families will be available to speak with the media before and after the hearing outside of the Committee room.
WHEN: Please note there are three separate press opportunities
Wednesday (5/22): 1:00 pm EST news conference at the “Senate Swamp”
Thursday (5/23): 9:30 am EST before AND after the hearing (approx. 12:00 pm EST) media availability outside 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
The following speakers will be at the Wednesday event only:
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT): Ranking Member of U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade and Consumer Protection
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): Chairwoman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
Ron Kraus, MSN, RN, CEN, ACNS-BC: Secretary-Treasurer, Emergency Nurses Association Board of Directors, Indiana
Attending all press events:
Cathy Chase: President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Janette Fennell: President and Founder, KidsAndCars.org
Miles Harrison (Purcellville, VA): Miles and his wife, Carol lost their son, Chase in a hot car tragedy in July 2008. Out of his normal routine, Miles, a doting and responsible father, lost awareness of Chase in the back seat of his car and went to work all day thinking his son was safe at daycare.
Christine Hladky (Boston, MA): Ms. Hladky was the first on-scene as an EMT to a hot car fatality in August 2012 that forever changed her life. Christine performed CPR on the child in a desperate attempt to save the child’s life, but it was too late.
Erin Holley (Charleston, SC): Erin had a near miss with her son, Finn, in 2017 when she lost awareness that he was in the back of her vehicle. Thankfully, something triggered her to realize he had been left behind and Finn was quickly found unharmed. Soon after this terrifying day, a boy named Jack Duggan (would have turned two this past Monday) who attended daycare with her son died after he was left in the car all day, thinking supposed to have been dropped off at daycare. Shortly after that, Erin discovered that her long-time hairdresser’s best friend also lost a child in a hot car.
NOTE: A vehicle demonstrating available rear occupant alert technology will be onsite during the Wednesday press conference.
NOTE: Local interviews may be available with advocates or families in your state. Please contact Amber Rollins at 913-205-6973 or amber@KidsAndCars.org for more information regarding availability and scheduling.