It started with a horrifying experience for a family, and progressed to the formation of a powerful voice for prevention of auto related childhood injuries and deaths. In 1995, Janette Fennell and her husband were kidnapped at gun point in their San Francisco driveway, forced into the trunk of their car, driven to an out-of the way location, assaulted, robbed and left for dead in their trunk. Meanwhile, their 9-month-old son had been left to fend for himself on their front porch. The Fennells managed to break free from their trunk, get help, and find their son safe and sound.
After things settled down, Janette focused her attention on the auto industry and federal government with a campaign to address trunk entrapment issues. Her efforts paid off when a federal regulation requiring internal trunk releases in all vehicles put on the market for sale or lease after September 1, 2001, was put in place.
The formation of KidsAndCars.org followed in an effort to address other safety issues, and Fennell never looked back. Here is the Mission statement for the organization:
KidsAndCars.org is a national nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles.
KidsAndCars.org has been pioneering a national prevention movement since 1996 by promoting the highest level of awareness among parents, caregivers, and the public at-large about the dangers inherent to children in or around motor vehicles.
KidsAndCars.org works to prevent these sudden tragic events through data collection, education and public awareness, policy change, regulations and survivor advocacy.
The site also notes:
We know how important the safety of your children is to you and everyone who cares for them. You drive a safe car and make sure they are correctly restrained in car seats. But, there are other dangers in and around motor vehicles even the most careful parents can overlook.
Every year at least 1,747 people are killed and another 841,000 are injured in nontraffic incidents according to the Not-in-Traffic Surveillance (NiTS) 2007 report.* ‘Nontraffic’ meaning anything that happens off of public roads or highways, generally in parking lots or driveways.
To address these issues, in addition to trunk entrapment the organization has focused its efforts on
and a variety of other dangers that endanger the safety and lives of children in an around cars.
The work performed by this organization is invaluable. Take a little time to visit the site, learn what they do, follow their work and support their efforts in any way that you can.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.