RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a invoice to ban the motorized vehicle modification thought to be the “Carolina Squat” subsequent a deadly crash previous month.
The priority got here to the forefront subsequent 8News’ safety of the tragic loss of life of Jody “BJ” Upton Jr., the 27-12 months-aged father killed in a collision involving a modified truck although on the best way to operate in Mecklenburg County on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
At a ceremony in Lynchburg on Monday, Youngkin was joined by the Upton Jr.’s family.
“Nothing is heading to hold BJ again once more to us however our hope and our prayer is that this laws staying signed now will protect a person else’s little one,” stated Betty Upton, BJ’s grandmother.
The laws prohibits modifications that consequence within the peak of the entrance bumper changing into greater than 4 inches elevated than the highest of the rear bumper. Opponents say it dangerously reduces the motive force’s visibility.
Nikki Allman, BJ’s girlfriend, referred to as the “Carolina Squat” an enormous side in her boyfriend’s loss of life.
“I positively do really feel that accident may have been prevented skilled the opposite driver been able to see and I’m simply completely happy that no different relations should go through what our households went through. , nobody else will drop their dad,” Allman reported.
The laws was rapidly-tracked with large bipartisan assist instantly after the relations spoke out. 8News’ interviews with appreciated ones had been printed on flyers contacting for modify and unfold throughout the Level out Capitol.
“In purchase to make our highways safer, in get to make Virginia safer, we ought to look collectively and it is a second for us to reach collectively with laws,” Youngkin claimed.
The laws handed the 2 chambers with an sudden emergency clause, that means that the regulation will get outcome inside simply the long run working day the second it’s formally communicated once more to the Residence Clerk’s Workplace and enrolled within the Act of Meeting.
Youngkin acknowledged Virginia is the following state to ban the following-market automobile modification driving North Carolina. South Carolina is considering performing the equivalent.
Ann Taylor Kallam, BJ’s potential sister-in-regulation, hopes the nation will take detect and get motion.
“Simply because it occurred in Virginia doesn’t imply it’s not gonna materialize in South Carolina. It doesn’t signify it isn’t heading to transpire in Florida. It may possibly happen anyplace,” Kallam acknowledged.
Bill sponsor Sen. Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) claimed the laws will make the “Carolina Squat” a principal offense, which implies regulation enforcement can halt a driver only for getting the modification. He reported it’s punishable by a high-quality of as much as $250, regardless that lawmakers might effectively ponder rising the penalty within the 2023 session.
“It’s a brand new problem and so we need to see how a number of tickets there are, how motorists reply and what responses we get from regulation enforcement,” Peake stated.