New laws proposed to stop child deaths in hot cars
BOCA RATON, Fla. (WPEC) - Lawmakers and mothers call it an unnecessary tragedy.
And there is a new push to come up with technology to help stop children from being left in hot cars.
July was the deadliest month in nearly a decade with 11 deaths resulting from the tragic mistake.
Nationally and at the state level, lawmakers are calling for major changes.
"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, referring to a proposal on Capitol Hill.
Olson-Rogers runs a website for moms in Boca, and she runs around Boca doing mom errands - like picking up her 4-year-old daughter Avery from camp.
"We are multi-tasking, we're busy, sometimes we can forget things or misplace things," Olson-Rogers said.
Olson-Rogers supports the bill introduced by a Connecticut senator.
That bill calls on the secretary of Transportation to make a new requirement for auto companies.
If it becomes a federal law, cars would need to have an alarm system that would detect a child's presence in the backseat. If the engine turns off and the child is still seated, the alarm would go off.
Mark Packo is a civil attorney and former engineer. He says car companies could be held liable if the alarms were ever to malfunction and for that reason he predicts resistance.
"[The car companies will say], 'If we are going to be mandated to do this, we also want some protection from the liability associated,'" Packo said.
Meantime, a bill in Florida calls for state law to change.
As it stands, the law has a time threshold - leaving a kid unattended for more than 15 minutes is illegal, but state Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Fla. wants that to be "no minutes," meaning leaving a child unattended for any amount of time would be illegal.