United States

Push to Change Laws to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

The “HOT CARS Act” would require makers of automobiles to include a rear seat sensor reminder.

Fifty-two kids in the U.S. died in 2018 after they were left in hot cars, including kids from Connecticut, a staggering statistic to serve as a reminder as we near summertime.

When the temperature climbs, so does the danger for little ones left in car.

Some parents leave their purses or even one of their shoes in the backseat as a reminder.

Now, some new cars are using sensor technology to try to prevent that from happening.

There is also an effort to change federal laws to protect kids.

The “HOT CARS Act” was reintroduced this session by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). It would require makers of automobiles to include a rear seat reminder.

“Anything to keep them safe. People are busy nowadays. I don’t think they should be too busy for their kids, but anything that can help,” said Maureen Ziemba of Stafford.

The grandmother of five thinks you can never be too careful.

“I stayed home with the kids, so I don’t think I had that extra pressure of dropping them off at daycare, you know, so I think people are so busy. Shouldn’t be too busy for their kids, but things happen.”

While police we spoke to support the potential legislation, they hope people use common sense in the warm weather and beyond.

“Last year we had a child rescued from a hot car, two alert women saw a child in this situation,” said Vernon Police Department Lt. William Meier

Owners of local car dealerships say they are all for the mandated technology and they say manufacturers are on board too.

“Most of the vehicles that are out there, They are pushing this as well,” said Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.

The McLeans from Vernon know life gets busy, especially with a toddler.

They have made checking the back seat a habit so they’ll always remember to get their son out of the car.

“Even when he’s not with me, I’ll go around the car and go, ‘Oh wait. He’s not with me right now,’” said Matt McLean.

While the bill works its way through Congress, it’s worth getting into a routine now.

There are apps like WAZE that have options to remind you to check behind you too.

Contact Us