Youngkin signs legislation to ban ‘Carolina Squat’

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

Governor Glenn Youngkin today signed SB777, a bill to ban the dangerous vehicle modification known as a “Carolina Squat” Monday, March 21, at a ceremony in Lynchburg. The Governor was joined by the bill’s patron, Senator Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg), and other legislative and law enforcement leaders. The family of Jody “B.J.” Upton Jr., a young father tragically killed in a collision with a truck with Carolina squat modifications this year also joined the governor for the signing.

“I’m honored today to be here with BJ’s family, the public servants who acted quickly to move legislation to my desk to address the problem, and the law enforcement heroes who will enforce this new law and keep our roads and highways safer,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Nothing can bring BJ back, but with faith, time and love we can begin to heal from the pain of losing him. But the spirit of Virginia is strong, and when Virginians see a problem they come together and act.”

“On February 16, a Virginian, BJ Upton, lost his life in a tragic car accident. Today, joined by members of BJ Upton’s family, my colleagues in the General Assembly, and law enforcement leaders, we took a critical step forward to prevent any further lives being lost at the hands of this dangerous truck modification. I am honored to have carried this bill and am grateful to Governor Youngkin and my colleagues for coming together in support of this important legislation,” said Senator Mark Peake.

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SB 777 bans “Carolina squat” style modifications on Virginia highways by further specifying that, within the absolute minimum and maximum height ranges, the height of the front bumper is to be no more than four inches greater than the height of the rear bumper.

Carolina Squat-style modifications are impractical, and can also be very dangerous. The suspension modifications change the function and handling of the vehicles. If the front end of the vehicle is higher than the rear end, the headlights are pointed towards the sky instead of illuminating the road ahead. The truck being angled compromises the driver’s view and alters the dispersion of mechanical force in the event of a collision.

The bill will become law within the next day once it is formally communicated back to the House Clerk’s Office and enrolled in the Act of Assembly.