New bill aims to reduce hot car deaths

Bill introduced to reduce hot car deaths.

BOISE - Every year dozens of heat-related car deaths are reported in the United States. This year nine children have already died in the country. On Wednesday, a bill was introduced to help prevent further tragedies by targeting the technology in your car.

In Washington, D.C., advocates for children's safety and legislators announced they're joining forces to introduce the Hot Cars Act of 2017. It's bipartisan legislation to require life-saving technology in vehicles.

"It's not about politics," said Janette Fennell, President and Founder of KidsandCars.org. "It's not about who is right or wrong. It is about safety."

Safety experts say the simple integrated reminder can save lives. It's technology that already exists. General Motors is currently offering the "rear seat reminder" in several of its 2017 models.

There are apps and safety devices currently on the market to help caregivers remember their precious cargo, but this act would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring all new passenger vehicles be equipped with an alert system.

"it's really not too much to ask to save the life of a child to add a little technology," said Fennell.

Standardized equipment so no caretaker ever has to say that they forgot.

"It's something that sticks with you for a long time so we just really ask citizens to pay attention this summer," said Boise police Lt. Stan Niccolls. "Let's shoot for no child deaths in hot cars. That's something we can easily prevent."

Research shows hot car deaths happen most often when a caregiver's routine is disrupted. A helpful tip is to leave your purse or wallet behind the driver's seat so you have to open the rear door, making it hard to miss a child. 

If you see a child alone in a car police say to call 911 right away. They also say that you can break a window to get the child out if you don't believe there's any time to spare.

 

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM


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