A stroller is the one item on every new parent’s baby registry list, but what most do not consider is just how dangerous these everyday items can be when met with a distracted driver. Most strollers place children sitting low to the ground, and without realizing it, many parents push their strollers out into the street without having a good view of oncoming traffic. Sandra Perilli, the creator of the Safe BeeSide Me Stroller Controller, first noticed this issue on the way to a doctor’s appointment. A woman pushing her stroller did not see an oncoming car and almost ended up in a collision. Luckily, no one was injured, but Perilli could not look at a stroller the same way again.
“Over the next few weeks, I started noticing that lots of people are pushing their strollers out into the street,” said Perilli.
Not wanting to see another near-tragedy, Perilli got to work, and the Stroller Controller was born. The Stroller Controller is an extendable steering handle that connects to most single-handle strollers, allowing parents to walk next to or in front of their children. With the Stroller Controller, parents have a better view of traffic before crossing the street and a better chance of being seen by oncoming cars. With a 46% increase in pedestrian deaths over the last decade, products that keep pedestrians safe are more important than ever before.
After drawing and sewing her first prototype, traveling across the country for trade shows, and conducting almost four years of research and development, Perilli was finally ready to release the Stoller Controller last April. Although the Stroller Controller’s main purpose is to protect pedestrians, users have already noticed other benefits of the device, like being able to push a stroller with one hand, open doors with ease, and quickly check on a front-facing baby. Although her product makes using a stroller much more convenient, Perilli maintains that its main priority is to protect stroller users.
“This has been from day one a safety product,” said Perilli.
Parents aren’t the only ones raving about the Stroller Controller. Ergobaby.com, a stroller manufacturer, recently listed the Stroller Controller on their list of “Top 8 Stroller Accessories for Parents on the Go.” Animal lovers have also found the Stoller Controller useful for pet strollers. A Stroller Controller specifically for pets is currently in development, but the original model is compatible with most single-handle pet strollers.
Thanks to the original product’s success, Safe BeeSide Me is currently developing products for other models of strollers. Until then, Safe BeeSide Me has a Stroller Compatibility Guide listing specific compatible models and tips for assessing if the product will fit your stroller.
Perilli is partnering with EndDD, St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and the Mr. Mo Project for senior dog rescue. Customers can purchase the Stroller Controller on the Safe BeeSide Me website and enter one of Perilli’s given promo codes to receive a $5 discount on their Stroller Controller. With the promo code, 10% of each total sale is donated to the charity of their choice. Although her product is just taking off, Perilli sees a bright future ahead for the Stroller Controller.
“I actually would like to expand into the safety arena for all different types of products with my focus remaining on babies and pets,” said Perilli.
Active stroller users and those who are passionate about pedestrian safety are excited to see Perilli’s latest innovation gain traction. Perilli stresses that whether parents use the Stroller Controller for its safety benefits or for one of its other many uses, they should always be aware of traffic risks when crossing the street.
“As a pedestrian with a baby, don’t take it for granted that you have the right of way. Really look, really take those extra steps because you’ve only got one shot. I’m hoping that with the product, it’ll make it a lot easier for people to prevent avoidable tragedies,” said Perilli.
*Isabella Scipioni is a sophomore at Fordham University Lincoln Center and is majoring in political science. She is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is currently an Assistant Social Media Editor for the Fordham Observer.