Preventing kids from dying in hot cars
By Chasity Maxie | July 2, 2020 at 7:32 PM CDT – Updated July 2 at 8:24 PM
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – As we move further into summer, there’s a push for technology to help prevent kids from dying in hot cars.
The group KidsAndCars.org wants the auto industry to install technology that can detect the presence of a child to alert a driver that the child is still strapped in.
And they want it to come standard in all vehicles.
KidsAndCars.org used National Heatstroke Prevention Day as way to bring awareness to hot car deaths.
The organization said after more than 20 years of public education, children are dying at record-breaking rates.
“And unfortunately, the education and awareness aspect has been ineffective,” said Director of KidsAndCars.org, Amber Rollins.
“I mean, most parents still truly believe that this will never happen to them. So, we feel very strongly that technology is going to play a major role in preventing hot car tragedies,” Rollins said.
Rollins said highly sophisticated systems, which can detect motion and carbon dioxide levels, and use radar and lidar technology are available right now.
Federal legislation through the Hot Cars Act has called for this technology, and was recently added to the Moving Forward Transportation Bill, which passed the house on Wednesday.
“GM back in 2001 made a big announcement that they were going to put detection technology in their vehicles by 2004 that could tell if there was a child inside and they were going to do this to prevent hot car deaths. Well it’s almost 20 years later. They still haven’t done it, and it’s those types of broken promises that really reassure us that we cannot depend on the industry saying they’re going to do something. Not when children’s lives are at stake,” Rollins explained.
Rollins said six kids across the country have already died this year in hot cars.
So far, none of those cases were reported in Alabama.
If the Moving Forward Bill passes the Senate and President Trump signs it, new detection technology could be in cars within two years.
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