EDITORIAL: Expand Tristan’s Law nationally



It made a lot of sense in Connecticut, where it was seen as a way to make something positive out of a senseless tragedy. Now, a plan to expand to the national level safety measures that will help protect children deserves support.

Many people locally are by now familiar with Tristan’s Law, which essentially applies school bus  safety measures to ice cream trucks. That the jingle of the ice cream truck is likely to generate more excitement among the younger crowd makes this legislation all the more significant.

Just more than a year ago, 10-year-old Tristan Barhorst was struck and killed by a passing vehicle after he bought ice cream from a truck in Cheshire. In response to so unbearable a loss, his parents, Christi Carrano and Tyler Barhost, championed legislation in Connecticut that called for equipping ice cream vendors with safety equipment and prohibiting sales in areas of high traffic.

Republican state Sen, Paul Cicarella helped steer the legislation to fruition. Last month, it passed unanimously in both the Senate and House and was signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont. Ice cream sellers in Connecticut have one year to be outfitted with safety features that include flashing lights, caution signs, signal arms and convex mirrors.

Last week, Connecticut’s U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, and Cicarella joined Tristan’s parents and others outside their Wallingford home to promote a bill that would do the same at the national level. Blumenthal said he would introduce a bill in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to create a federal version of the law.

Carrano said she was “excited for the proposition that we can do something nationally to further protect children.”

“I’m hopeful that everyone will come together in a bipartisan fashion, like Senator Cicarella helped us to do on a state level, and that we can get something passed nationally,” she said.

It’s obviously worth supporting this common-sense approach. The tragedy at its source is beyond sad, but there’s some solace in knowing that in the future similar tragedies can be avoided.



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