Bill reintroduced to lawmakers would help reduce hot car deaths

Health

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We have heard it before, don’t leave your kids or pets inside a hot car, and now there’s new technology that could help with that.

Two representatives from Ohio and Illinois, along with the help of child safety advocates, are pushing legislation that would mandate all new vehicles to be equipped with an alert system to remind drivers to check their back seats. The latest reintroduction of the Hot Cars Act went to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 12. Since 1990, nearly 1,000 children have died in hot cars.

Dr. Mark Kenton at Mercy Medical Center said it’s a real problem that just keeps getting worse, “It doesn’t take long for a car to heat up. Also before people get into a car as well with children or with someone who may be older to make sure you go out and give it some time to cool off before you actually get in the car.”

2018 saw the most child hot car deaths with 54 children lost since records were kept. In 2020, 24 children died of heatstroke in cars, a lower number than in past years likely because of the pandemic.

The Hot Cars Act of 2019 made it to the Senate and was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives but it has been at a standstill since.

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