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James T. Crouse
James T. Crouse
Attorney • (919) 861-0500

Keeping Our Children Safe Around Cars

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I just returned from speaking at a lawyer’s conference in Florida where I represented Crouse Law Offices. At the conference I was fortunate to hear Janette Fennell speak about the important issue of children’s safety. Janette is the founder of KidsAndCars.org, an organization dedicated to improving the safety of children in and around motor vehicles while on private property—in non traffic accidents.

We’ve all heard of these unthinkable horrors—when children are run over in their own driveways, usually by a member of their own family. Janette told us not only about back overs but also about front overs, both of which are caused by blind spots in the front and rear of the vehicles. These blind spots can reach as much as 60 feet.

Janette has done something about this. Her organization is not only the first organization to recognize the dangers of what is generally an unknown and ignored problem, but she collects data to present to legislatures and other organizations to bring attention to the tragic loss of the lives of our children caused not only by these types of events, but also in such things as children left in cars where they can die because of heat stroke.

Her efforts have produced legislation which will require back-up camera on all vehicles—a worthy requirement. This is not her first “win” for safety. Following a terrifying kidnapping in her own family, she succeeded in convincing the government and the automotive industry that trunk entrapment was a real problem. This resulted in federal legislation that now requires a “glow-in-the-dark” internal trunk release being required in all cars produced in the US after September 1, 2001.

At this same conference were two terrific North Carolina lawyers, Beth Nobel and Jennifer Seate, also from Raleigh. These attorneys have their hearts and minds in the right place, not only representing people who have been hurt, but also understanding and believing in the importance of safety so that people won’t be harmed.

Those of us at Crouse Law Offices, along with Leone, Nobel and Seate, want to be Janette’s “troops on the ground” in North Carolina to carry the KidsandCars message throughout our state. Log into our websites for news about our future efforts in this vital crusade and to see how you can help save our children visit Kidsandcars.org. It is our goal that no other child be harmed by these wholly preventable events.