Senate Committee Advances Bill to Prevent Kids From Being Left in Hot Cars
Do you support the HOT CARS Act?
by Countable | 7.11.19
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Wednesday advanced the HOT CARS Act (S. 1601), which would aim to prevent the deaths of young children left in hot cars due to heat stroke by requiring new cars to have a sensor that alerts drivers to check for passengers in the back seat.
The bill, known in full as the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act, would require the Dept. of Transportation to develop a rule within two years that would require all new passenger vehicles to include a system with a distinct auditory and visual alert that may be combined with a haptic alert if an unattended passenger remains in the rear seats. Full compliance would be required for all new passenger vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds starting in the calendar year beginning two years after the final rule is issued.
According to Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety (which endorsed this bill), a record number of 52 children died of heat stroke in hot cars in 2018, adding to a death toll of more than 900 children since 1990.
Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the bill with Ranking Member Maria Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and the committee advanced the bill on a voice vote ― although Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) noted for the record that he opposed the bill going forward. It’s unclear when it could be considered on the Senate floor or if the House will consider companion legislation.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / PetrBonek)
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