Just three months after seeing a News4 I-Team report on accidents involving blind zones in front of vehicles, a United States senator introduced legislation to prevent frontover deaths.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced the STOP Frontovers Act, which would require all new vehicles to come equipped with cameras, sensors or other technology to improve a driver’s visibility in front of their car.
In July, an I-Team demonstration found just how large some blind zones can be on SUVs or trucks – in some cases up to 16 feet – and have led to numerous deaths and injuries, mostly among children.
Jackie Foschi’s 4-year-old son died after she accidentally ran him over with her large SUV in their Virginia driveway.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
“He opened the gate, and I drove very slowly, like all the way up, and then he wasn’t there,” she said. “I thought he was getting the mail, you know, your worse nightmare, he was under the car.”
Foschi said she never saw him dart in front of the vehicle. She shared Hudson’s story for the first time with News4 hoping it would bring about change.
“The technology that’s out there that I have in my new vehicles, he would still be here … he would,” she said.
Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, saw the I-Team report and says this legislation would save countless lives. It would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a new federal motor vehicle safety standard that requires vehicles to be equipped with technology that enables drivers to detect and respond to objects in front of their vehicles, especially children. The legislation also would require NHTSA to formally define the term “frontover” to allow for more accurate data collection.
If the bill is passed, NHTSA will have to issue a final safety standard within two years. The agency told the I-Team it “looks forward to reviewing the draft legislation.”
After the I-Team report, NHTSA released updated data showing almost half, 46% of non-occupants who died between 2016 and 2020 in non-traffic incidents, were killed after being struck by vehicles moving forward.
Reported by Susan Hogan, produced by Rick Yarborough, and shot and edited by Steve Jones.