Kids in hot cars bill sent to governor


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Legislation that would allow people to break into a locked car to save an unattended child is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

The state Senate unanimously passed House Bill 279 on Wednesday, about a month after the proposal won unanimous approval in the House.

The measure is designed to reduce heatstroke deaths when children are left alone in cars during hot weather. Civil immunity would be provided for any damage that results when a vehicle is forcibly entered to rescue someone.

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Luzerne/Lackawanna/Wyoming) said her bill requires a belief that the person in the vehicle is in imminent danger of suffering harm and is unable to exit the car without help.

People would first have to make a reasonable effort to locate the driver, and contact or attempt to contact police or firefighters before entering the vehicle.

The legislation would become law 60 days after being signed by the governor. 

Similar legislation for rescuing pets became law in the previous legislative session.

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