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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=21414
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 15, 2016 01:07 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Hot Car Immunity - Children
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (HB 2276) to help the community protect children that may be in danger. This bill will provide civil immunity for any damage that may be done to the vehicle when forceful entry is necessary to rescue a child.

All too often, we hear news reports involving young children being left in a hot car – sometimes with tragic results. According to the nonprofit organization KidsAndCars.org, on average, 38 children die heat-related deaths each year as a result of being trapped inside motor vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car. My bill will encourage passers-by to take a second look, contact law enforcement, and step in to help when necessary.

The immunity only applies when the person is acting reasonably under the circumstances: He or she must have a good faith belief that the child in imminent danger of suffering harm, and must have determined that the vehicle is locked and there is otherwise no reasonable method for the child to be removed. Also, prior to forcibly entering the vehicle, the person must have contacted or attempted to contact law enforcement.

I have heard so many people describe situations they’ve observed involving other peoples’ children that made them uncomfortable, but they always end up explaining that they “didn’t want to get involved” or “didn’t know what to do.” Far more than the cost of a new car window, this bill is about educating people and providing a level of comfort that enables them to step in when appropriate.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation - it could save a life.



Introduced as HB1152