It happens far too often…parents accidentally leave their children in hot cars and it results in tragedy.
Recently there have been several cases in Arizona, a state that is known for its record high temperatures in the summer months. The month of July turned out to be the deadliest in the last decade, as there were 11 deaths due to the terrible mistake. But, does it have to happen so often?
Mothers and lawmakers are on a mission to push technology companies to come up with a way that alerts parents that there is a child in the car. Lawmakers are calling for major changes at both the national and state levels.
“Having a law like this to make sure that this is on top of people’s radars, I think is important,” said Michelle Olson-Rogers, who has a website designed for moms and spends most of her days running errands with her four-year-old daughter Avery. As someone who is constantly transporting their child in and out of the car, Rogers knows that these mistakes can and do happen far too often.
“We are multitasking, we’re busy, sometimes we can forget things or misplace things,” said Rogers.
That bill, which calls onSecretaryetary of Transportation to make a new requirement for auto companies, was put into motion by a Connecticut senator and if things go as planned and the bill becomes a federal law, cars would be required to have an alarm system that detects a child in the backseat of the car. In the event that the child is still in the car, an alarm will go off after the engine is turned off.
While the idea sounds like a great one that has the potential to prevent a lot of unnecessary tragedies, civil attorney and former engineer, Mark Packo is predicting that people will resist the bill because car companies will be liable if the alarms malfunction.
“If we are going to be mandated to do this, we also want some protection from the liability associated,'” Packo said.
As this bill is being introduced, Florida is hoping to pass a new law that makes it illegal for parents to leave their children in the cars unattended at all. Currently, the law allows for a child to be in the car for 15 minutes, but State Representative Emily Slosberg, wants that to change to “no minutes.”
This would certainly alleviate any chance that a parent has of leaving the child in the car for too long of a time, but there is also the issue that the parent could forget their child is in the car completely.
Just last week there were two heat-related deaths in Phoenix when children were left in vehicles unattended in temperatures that went beyond 100 degrees. The deaths happened within 24 hours of one another and are said to be accidents. Public officials are very vigilant about spreading the word about heat-related safety and make it a point to educate the residents on staying hydrated and not leaving pets and children unattended, during the month that is known as the monsoon season in Arizona.