New Bill Requires Alarm for Parents Driving Small Children

June 21, 2017
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Every year, 37 children die trapped in hot cars in the US .

All of these deaths were completely avoidable, says U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio. To help prevent more of them, he recently introduced the HOT CARS (Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats) Act of 2017.

The bill has been timed to coincide with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention Campaign.

The bill would require that cars come with an alarm system to notify the driver of the car if a passenger remains in the back seat when a car is turned off.

The initiative is cosponsored by Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

“Our cars can already alert drivers when they leave their keys in the car, their lights on, or their trunk open – none of which are life-threatening,” Ryan said in an official statement, “It is not unusual for the government to mandate safety features to protect lives.”

He introduced the very same piece of legislation last year and, despite the backing of over 20 national safety organizations including KidsAndCars.org, AAA, and American Academy of Pediatrics, it failed to gain momentum in a Republican-controlled Congress against passing new regulations on businesses.

Ryan notes that General Motors already has the technology and will begin installing it in certain models as early as this year. According to a report by CNN, there will be a warning tone and a reminder message in the speedometer that reads “Look in Rear Seat.”

While it’s still not clear whether the legislation will make any headway in the 115th Congress, even if it passed it would still take a while for the technology to find its way into most vehicles. This means it’s going to be up to parents to remain vigilant.

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