Janette Fennell is the founder and president of www.KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit organization that works to prevent injury and death to children in nontraffic events. Janette learned that being locked in a car trunk was a horrific ordeal; but her second ordeal was convincing the powerful auto industry and Federal government that trunk entrapment was a significant problem. Her four-year successful crusade to make car trunks escapable is an excellent case study in the power of survivors to change public policy. While working on the issue of trunk entrapment, she learned about many other dangers children are exposed to when left alone in or around a motor vehicle. Ms. Fennell has been the driving force to bring nontraffic incidents to the national agenda. Before her data collection efforts the magnitude of vehicular injuries and deaths occurring on private property was not known. As recent as February 2008 she was successful in getting the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act passed. This new law will require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set a rear visibility standard, improve power window safety, require that vehicles cannot be taken out of gear unless you have your foot on the brake, educate the public about nontraffic dangers and collect data about incidents that take place on private property. This is the first transportation bill that has been passed since 2005. Janette has received numerous national awards such as a 2002 Public Service Award from NHTSA, an American Academy of Pediatrics injury prevention award, the 2007 National Community Champion award from the Civil Justice Foundation, the 2006 Outstanding Achievement in Childhood Safety Award from Safe Kids Kansas, the 2007 Advocate Extraordinaire award from Safe Kids Kansas City Metro as well as the 2004 Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Wisconsin. Ms. Fennell is sought out as an expert in the nontraffic field and has appeared on programs such as Good Morning America, Dateline, Oprah, NPR, the TODAY Show, the CBS Early Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Lifetime TV and is regularly quoted in newspapers such as USA Today, LA Times, Washington Post, the Detroit News, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times and Detroit News to name a few. Janette, born and raised in Wisconsin, makes her home in Leawood, Kansas with her husband and two young sons. Janette appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “From Trauma to Social Advocacy.”
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