Monthly Archives: March 2016

Here is your chance to help the Virginia Tech Student Design Team build a life-saving underride guard!

The Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team is asking for help to pay for their unique underride guard design. How cool is that to see students dedicating their senior year to saving lives!!! 
Be a part of their project. See their GoFundMe page here: VT Senior Design Sine Beam Purchase
 
Virginia Tech Dream Team 2016 Photo
Virginia Tech Dream Team. Left to right: Wayne, Daniel, Andrew, Sean, and Kristen. Brian not pictured.

Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team Spring Midterm Report

The Virginia Tech Senior Student Design Team, which was inspired to take on the goal of designing a better truck underride guard, presented the results of their Spring Midterm Report last week.

See that report here: Spring Midterm_Final

Virginia Tech Dream Team 2016 Photo
Dream Team. Left to right: Wayne Carter, Daniel Carrasco, Andrew Pitt, Sean Gardner, Kristine Adriano. Brian Smith not pictured.

I don’t know if I got their names in the right order. I will get to meet them at the Roundtable on May 5!

Here are other documents related to their project:

They weren’t here to give their brother a goodbye hug.

When we said our goodbyes to Levi, as he headed out of the country to serve the people of Peru, I couldn’t help but think about the two who were not here to hug him goodbye.

4b AnnaLeah mary levi ed bldg mt olive

Remembering the good times Levi had with AnnaLeah & Mary:

 

 

“Culture of entitlement makes drivers a new kind of menace.” Is this you?

If you have a driver’s license, please read this article about “entitlement driving.” It could save someone’s life.

A new, and dangerous, kind of distracted driverThey hog lanes, ignore emergency vehicles, and treat their cars like multi-tasking way stations. That culture of entitlement makes drivers a new kind of menace.

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“Studies show drivers with dashcams drive more responsibly because they know they’re being filmed.”

Maybe if dashcams were standard equipment in all vehicles, drivers might be more cautious; lives might be saved.

Bernie Sanders: Champion the Cause/Set a National Vision Zero Goal to End Preventable Crash Deaths!

As I sit and wait for Washington to respond to our Vision Zero Petition with its 20,000 signatures, I wish that the multitude of traffic safety advocates–both individuals and organizations–would truly come together with a united front to push for a National Vision Zero Goal, a White House Vision Zero Task Force, and a Vision Zero Executive Order to lay the ground rules for Vision Zero rulemaking.

Though there is perhaps the need to focus separately on overcoming specific problem areas — e.g., improving truck underride guards — our efforts are probably fragmented more than they should be to enable us to speak with one voice and clamor for fundamental change in traffic safety.  Let us take a cue from Nehemiah when he rallied the the people of God to rebuild the wall:

And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people. “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah 4:19-20

And so I am sounding the trumpet and calling for us to rally together to become more effective and to make greater, swifter progress in moving Toward Zero crash deaths and serious injuries.

If President Obama will not act upon our petition, then let’s call upon Bernie Sanders to champion the cause for a National Vision Zero Goal. Contact him here and ask him to do so. I just did! Connect with Bernie Sanders

(See lyrics and more at this postFight then, wherever you may be, to protect us all from the end-that-shouldn’t-be.)

Please read the news report by our local reporter, Brie Handgraaf, about our recent delivery of 20,000+ Vision Zero Petitions to Washington: Family continues fight for trucking safety. The story is also told by Care 2: Mom Continues to Fight for Truck Safety After Daughters’ Tragic Death.

If you have not already signed the petition, it will remain open until a Vision Zero Rulemaking Policy is adopted. So sign here: Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy. Then share the petition with someone who has not yet heard about it.

Then, contact President Obama online and ask him to read the Vision Zero Petition Book, which was delivered to him at the White House yesterday.

(Note: When the Contact Form asks you for a Subject, click on Transportation.)

Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family

Vision Zero Book by Marianne Karth for President Obama

Thank you for your support!

Vision Zero Petition screenshot 001

“‘Take me instead, Lord,’ frustrated parents can say.” Move a million hearts to reach just one.

Jerry asked our family yesterday, “If money were no object, what could be done to get 1 million signatures on our petition?” Like me, he is frustrated with the lack of response our 20,000 signatures seems to have gotten from the powers-that-be.
 

Perhaps they are working furiously behind closed doors to prepare a response. Or, on the other hand, maybe they think that they are already doing everything they can (not true) to help us move Toward Zero traffic fatalities.

Vision Zero is a difficult concept to grasp–possibly because we have grown accustomed to accepting traffic deaths as “accidents” instead of understanding that there are many things which could be done to prevent them.

Yet, our Vision Zero Petition has outlined some very specific courses of action which our country’s leadership could take which would make a much bigger impact than is currently being made to reduce the number of crash deaths.

Our kids asked, “What’s the target group?” The consensus seemed to be that the people most likely to respond to our message would be those that fear having a child die before they do.

This morning, I listened to a brief bit of the girls’ funeral sermon. On that dreadful day, Pastor Pase talked to us about the challenge a parent has in keeping a fragile child safe and the pain that comes when they are unable to do so.

“‘Take me instead, Lord,’ frustrated parents can say.”

If you are a parent (or even if you are not, but our story moves your heart), please share our story with at least one another person. Maybe we can reach that 1 million people Jerry is hoping for. And just maybe the president’s heart will be like a stream of water in our Father’s hands. (Proverbs 21:1) Pray for it to be so.

Share the petition and also send an email to President Obama: Tell Obama you are standing with us.

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Easter flowers for AnnaLeah & Mary, from their aunt and uncle, March 26, 2016

Fight then, wherever you may be, to protect us all from the end-that-shouldn’t-be.

I would like to be able to write hopeful things, on this hopeful day of Resurrection remembrance, about our chances of being able to save lives. But the fact of the matter is that, unless a miracle occurs, it is likely to be Second Verse Same As The First, A Little Bit Louder And A Little Bit Worse. Followed by Third Verse and so on. . . ad nauseam.

The day after Easter in 2013, just a month before our crash, I shared a song with friends. I wrote about it a year later on facebook:

One of the really true and hopeful things about that song is in the last verse:

No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand!

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But, as true as that may be in the spiritual sense (because AnnaLeah and Mary will be with their Lord and Savior forever to infinity and beyond; they are where they belong), it is most certainly also true that sin, death, and the devil can wreak havoc in our lives here on earth–including the careless and callous attitudes and actions that contribute to traffic crash deaths.

IMG_4465 Vision Zero Petition Book Cover draft

Oh, I understand that by the grace of God I can endure the pain and grief which has come upon me as a result. And maybe I can even be a tool in His hand to ameliorate the situation just a little.

But the forces of darkness that rage against genuine efforts to end senseless traffic deaths are truly powerful and scheming. It is only because I believe that it is not by might nor by power but by His Spirit that we could ever prevail that I press on boldly calling ever more loudly:

Our stories show the world that this violence has to end.
But the forces up against us make it hard to score a win.
Yet we’ll climb up this mountain of grief once again.
Weeping is our strength; let this battle begin.

Fight then, wherever you may be,
To protect us all
From the end-that-shouldn’t-be.
As we join together against this enemy,
We will find the way to victory.

Lyrics: from the broken heart of a mother (remembering the peace and joy of AnnaLeah and Mary)

Tune: Simple Gifts

and  Lord of the Dance

We rescue; Jesus saves.

If you are a parent (or even if you are not, but our story moves your heart), please share our story with at least one another person. Maybe we can reach that 1 million people Jerry is hoping for. And just maybe the president’s heart will be like a stream of water in our Father’s hands. (Proverbs 21:1) Pray for it to be so.

Share the petition and also send an email to President Obama: Tell Obama you are standing with us.

Volvo Truck Recall; Decisive Action Taken by Volvo & FMCSA Exhibits Vision Zero Thinking

Here is an encouraging Vision Zero action. Though it is not good that there is a safety defect in some Volvo trucks, at least decisive action is being taken by Volvo to recall the vehicles, as well as action by FMCSA to declare these trucks Out-Of-Service if they are found on the road without the necessary repair.

FMCSA Volvo Truck Safety Recall Notice

On February 16, 2016, Volvo Trucks initiated a safety recall affecting nearly 16,000 Class 8 motor vehicles in the United States. According to Volvo, a condition exists which could lead to separation of the steering shaft from the junction block.

Also, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened. Volvo’s report to NHTSA states that either condition can lead to separation of the steering shaft and immediate loss of steering ability and control, which could lead to a crash.

Volvo Trucks issued a Safety Recall Alert on March 10, which directed all owners of the affected vehicles to take the vehicles out of operation as soon as possible and cautioned that the separation can occur without warning and amended its safety recall on March 15, alerting NHTSA of the more serious hazard.

Volvo Trucks strongly recommends that these vehicles remain out of service until repairs are made. NHTSA is overseeing Volvo Truck’s recall efforts to ensure prompt notification of the defect to vehicle owners and that vehicles are not operated in a defective condition. . .

Additionally, to assist with notification efforts, on March 18, 2016, FMCSA posted an Inspection Bulletin on its website.

Urgent Inspection Bulletin: Safety Recall Issued By Volvo Trucks – See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/urgent-inspection-bulletin-safety-recall-issued-volvo-trucks#sthash.B6yEYAQI.dpuf

Volvo Safety Recall Alert: Steering Shaft

Volvo Safety Recall Alert Steering Shaft.pdf

I applaud all such actions which have the potential to prevent crashes and save lives.

Minolta DSC
Mary 2009

StopSleep device detects loss of concentration & fatigue, warning drivers: Stop, Revive and Survive.

Here is a device to counteract drowsy driving dangers: StopSleep® – Drive Safely

Worn on just two fingers, the StopSleep device detects loss of concentration and fatigue, warning drivers it is time to Stop, Revive and Survive.

10.52 a.m. Crown Vic May 4 2013

Care2 Story on our Family’s Fight for Truck Safety #VisionZero

Care2 published a story on our safety advocacy today: Care2 Mom Continues to Fight for Truck Safety After Daughters’ Tragic Death

I’m thankful for their site which has allowed us to raise awareness about traffic safety and Vision Zero.  We have gained the support of many individuals through our Vision Zero Petition hosted there.

The Petition remains open for additional signatures until Vision Zero Rulemaking is adopted: Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy

Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT
Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT