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Members of Congress, Families of Truck Crash, Distracted Driving Crash, Child “Hot Car” and Seatback Failure Victims, and Safety, Public Health, Law Enforcement, Bicyclist & Consumer Advocates Call on Bipartisan Group of Senators and U.S. Senate to Ensure Safety is Advanced in Any Transportation/Infrastructure Package. House INVEST in America Act Features Safety Improvements and Must Not be Sidelined.
Over the 5-year time span of the bill, over 183,000 people will be killed and 14 million injured in motor vehicle crashes at a cost of more than $5 trillion — unless proven solutions are advanced.
WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2021 at 10AM EST
WHAT: VIRTUAL NEWS CONFERENCE
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), joined by U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and U.S. Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), families of truck crash, distracted driving crash, child “hot car” and seatback failure victims, and safety, public health, law enforcement, bicyclist and consumer advocates will discuss needed safety provisions included in the House INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) but currently missing in the Senate Surface Transportation Investment Act (S. 2016). In 2020, despite vehicle miles traveled (VMT) being down, crash fatalities reached 38,680 – the most since 2007. Cost-effective safety solutions are readily available that can bring down these grim numbers and Congress must meet the moment by ensuring their inclusion in the final transportation/infrastructure bill. Bipartisan transportation and infrastructure legislation has historically made significant strides in advancing safety and this time should be no different.
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: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hmxb99XTTdWi5gy37LXobQ
**NOTE: Q&A during this event will be for media only**
- Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair, U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Chair, U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
- Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
- Joan Claybrook, Former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH)
- Amy Cohen (New York): Co-Founder of Families for Safe Streets and mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein. Sammy was 12 years old and waiting for a friend to head to soccer practice, when his ball bounced into the street. The driver of a commercial cargo van struck Sammy, and he died from his injuries on October 8, 2013.
- Michelle and Jason Fraser (Texas): Parents of Jayden Faith “Jay-Fay” Fraser, who was severely and permanently disabled when, during their return trip from feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving 2016, their vehicle was rear-ended. The crash caused Jason, who was driving, to be thrust backwards over his seat which despite complying with current safety standards collapsed resulting in a skull to skull collision with his 12-year-old daughter. The existing safety standard for the seatback that resulted in Jay-Fay’s traumatic brain injury was written in 1967.
- Tammy Huffman (Michigan): Truck Safety Coalition Volunteer, Sister-in-law of Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Tim Huffman who was pulled on the shoulder of Interstate 8 in his cruiser completing a report, when a distracted semi driver slammed into his vehicle on May 6, 2013. Officer Huffman was killed. Dashcam footage of the truck driver in the moments before the crash show him looking at his phone.
- Angela Jones (Arizona): Family advocate with Kids and Car Safety and mother of 3 beautiful girls, Angela tragically lost her youngest daughter Charlotte “Charly” at only 3 years old on September 3, 2019. Charly’s loving, devoted father unknowingly left her in his car. He was only 20 feet away from her in their driveway, while he worked from home. He had no idea she hadn’t been dropped off at daycare.
- Eileen Kosc (Delaware): Truck Safety Coalition Volunteer, Mother of Brandon and Bryan, Eileen was driving home from the beach with her sons in slow traffic in 2013, when she was struck from behind by an inattentive box truck driver who failed to slow down. The truck continued on to hit four other vehicles before coming to a stop. Eileen and Brandon were taken to the hospital with injuries. Bryan, who was seven years old, did not survive. (Eileen’s statement will be via pre-recorded video as she is a nurse, on duty at the time of the event.)
- Ken McLeod, Policy Director, League of American Bicyclists
- Commander Chris Olson (Arizona), Oro Valley, Arizona Police Department, and International Association of Chiefs of Police Highway Safety Committee Member
- Pete Sullivan, Advanced Analysis Associates, Automotive, Truck, Mechanical, Hydraulic and Electronic Systems Performance, Testing & Analysis Consultant
- Dr. Deanna Wathington, Executive Board Chair, American Public Health Association
ELECTRONIC MEDIA KIT, including the press conference recording, press release, and select speaker statements will be available at www.saferoads.org.
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.