‘Hot Cars’ Act Looks to Protect Kids Left in Cars
U.S. lawmakers recently introduced The H.O.T. C.A.R.S. Act of 2017, which would make an advisory system within the vehicle mandatory, reminding drivers they have children in the back seat. This system would engage once the engine has been shut off. The act stands for Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats -- Hot Cars.
Do people honestly forget they have children in the back seat of their vehicle? Having raised four children of my own, I can say categorically there was never one time I forgot my kids were in the back. And I could never leave them sitting in a hot car, no matter how long I would be gone. So tell me, what would be easier? Unloading and reloading the kids into the car? Or paying funeral expenses?
Every vehicle is already equipped with one reminder. Your rear view mirror. Looking back now and then at traffic has to remind you there are children in the vehicle, even if they're sleeping. I am encouraged that lawmakers are trying to identify ways to keep children safe. To date, nine children have died from overheating in hot cars. That's nine too many.
In a discussion of friends and co-workers who have children, the overwhelming feeling was people knew the kids were there, they just didn't think they would be gone long enough for anything to happen. A law like this may remind those people, but if that's all the act will provide, put some teeth into the reminder.
Instead of "Caution, there are children in the back seat," how about, "caution, leaving children in a hot car can result in death."
Educating drivers, including questions on the driver's test would be one way to move towards a safer riding experience for the young ones, constant reminders during summer months on radio and tv ads, as well as phone apps are some other ways we can try to remind drivers of the perils of leaving children in cars that can get upwards of 120 degrees.
I applaud the idea. I just hope more is done to keep children safe from overheating in cars.