RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill to ban the car or truck modification acknowledged as the “Carolina Squat” pursuing a deadly crash very last thirty day period.
The difficulty came to the forefront pursuing 8News’ coverage of the tragic demise of Jody “BJ” Upton Jr., the 27-yr-outdated father killed in a collision involving a modified truck even though on the way to operate in Mecklenburg County on Wednesday, Feb. 16.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 going to deliver BJ back again to us but our hope and our prayer is that this regulation becoming signed right now will save another person else’s little one,” said Betty Upton, BJ’s grandmother.
The law prohibits modifications that end result in the peak of the entrance bumper staying far more than 4 inches larger than the peak of the rear bumper. Opponents say it dangerously decreases the driver’s visibility.
Nikki Allman, BJ’s girlfriend, identified as the “Carolina Squat” a big factor in her boyfriend’s demise.
“I actually do consider that accident could have been prevented had the other driver been ready to see and I’m just glad that no other families will have to go by way of what our family members went as a result of. You know, nobody else will eliminate their dad,” Allman said.
The law was rapidly-tracked with broad bipartisan assist after the spouse and children spoke out. 8News’ interviews with beloved ones had been printed on flyers contacting for adjust and spread during the State Capitol.
“In buy to make our highways safer, in buy to make Virginia safer, we ought to occur jointly and this is a minute for us to come collectively with laws,” Youngkin explained.
The legislation passed both chambers with an emergency clause, meaning that the law will get result inside the following working day when it is formally communicated again to the Household Clerk’s Office and enrolled in the Act of Assembly.
Youngkin claimed Virginia is the next state to ban the following-market motor vehicle modification guiding North Carolina. South Carolina is contemplating undertaking the similar.
Ann Taylor Kallam, BJ’s future sister-in-law, hopes the nation will choose see and take action.
“Just mainly because it occurred in Virginia doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not gonna take place in South Carolina. It does not imply it is not going to occur in Florida. It can come about everywhere,” Kallam mentioned.
Monthly bill sponsor Sen. Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) mentioned the legislation makes the “Carolina Squat” a principal offense, indicating police can prevent a driver just for acquiring the modification. He explained it is punishable by a good of up to $250, although lawmakers may possibly take into account rising the penalty in the 2023 session.
“It’s a new issue and so we want to see how a lot of tickets there are, how motorists react and what opinions we get from regulation enforcement,” Peake said.
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