Vanessa Bryant urges Congress to pass new helicopter safety bill named after Kobe and Gianna

Vanessa Bryant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant's widow is advocating for new helicopter safety legislation she says could "save countless lives."

Democrats in Congress on Thursday introduced the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, named after the late Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January. The bill, according to CNN, would "require all helicopters certified to carry six or more people to be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder."

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, said in a statement that "I strongly urge" Congress to pass the legislation, as "I believe there is a chance that Kobe and Gianna would still be alive today if their helicopter had been equipped with the safety equipment" that it requires.

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"As passengers traveling on aircrafts we assume that proper safety measures are in order to prevent accidents from happening before we fly," she said. "It's unfortunate that this is not the case and aircraft companies must do their part to protect lives."

Bryant also said she's "deeply moved" by the bill being named after Kobe and Gianna, adding that having their names "associated with this federal law that has the potential to save countless lives would be a fitting tribute to their memory." Earlier this year, Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company Island Express Helicopters, which alleges the passengers were killed because of the helicopter pilot's "negligent conduct."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.