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Legislation targeting “Carolina Squat” advances in Richmond

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 7:20 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Legislation prompted by a fatal accident this year is advancing in the General Assembly.

The bill would outlaw what’s known as the Carolina Squat, a modification to cars and trucks that supporters of the legislation say is unsafe.

It raises the front bumper so that it rides higher than the rear. And members of B.J. Upton’s family believe that configuration contributed to a head-on crash in Mecklenburg County that took the life of the 27-year-old father February 16.

“You get anger, sadness, fear, confusion,” Ann Taylor Kallam told WDBJ7 Thursday morning.

Kallam is a former reporter at WDBJ7 and the fiancé of B.J. Upton’s brother. She said members of Upton’s family are grieving, and dealing with the effects of the fatal accident.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) was one of the last bills introduced in the General Assembly session.

The law would prohibit vehicles from operating on public highways if the front bumper is four inches or higher than the rear. And it would be classified as a primary offense allowing officers to pull over a vehicle that violates the law.

Kallam said the legislation won’t bring B.J. Upton back, but it can help other Virginians.

“We’ll never have closure on his death, but we will have a sense of peace knowing that something good came out of it,” she said.

The legislation won approval in the State Senate, and it cleared a House committee on a unanimous vote Thursday morning. It appears to be headed for final passage in the House before the General Assembly adjourns.

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