A Florida legislator recently introduced a bill aimed at preventing pet deaths in hot cars. The bill would empower an average citizen to act if they come upon a pet left in a hot car. The bill comes with some requirements, and it is not yet known whether it will pass the full legislature and gain a governor’s signature.
As the Sunshine State, Florida’s weather is hot on a steady and regular basis. When the temperature is hot outside, it gets even hotter inside your car. This year alone there have been a number of child deaths Florida resulting from being left alone in a hot car.
In June in Lake City, Florida, it was reported that a father left his daughter in the car after forgetting to take her to preschool, and she died. In Miami a large family simply forgot to take a toddler out of the car after unloading groceries, and after an hour the child passed away.
Florida’s Current Laws on Children Left in Cars
Currently there are laws on the books that deal with children left in a car. Under Florida Statutes 316.6135, it is against the law for a parent to leave a child under the age of 6 in a car for longer than 15 minutes. Doing so could result in a misdemeanor or felony. Under the same law the police are allowed to use whatever means necessary to take a child out of a car if the child is unsupervised or unattended. That means that the police can break a window or open a door to rescue a child, but there are no such laws in place for pets.
What About Pets?
Like children left in cars, pets are vulnerable to the super high temperatures of a closed car in the sun. In fact, in August of this yearit was reported that a pet dog died after being left in the car, and the owner was arrested as a result. While a bystander broke the window of the car to rescue it, the dog did not survive.
Now, the law being proposed by a Florida state senator would do a lot to prevent pets from dying in a hot car and protect bystanders from any liability for trying to rescue a pet. Under the provisions of the proposed bill, bystanders could break into and rescue a pet trapped in a car if they first try to find the pet owner and notify emergency personnel of the situation. Then they would be empowered to break into the car, rescue the pet, and not face any liability for their actions. The law is being lauded by animal rights activists across the country.
Panama City Area Attorney Fights for Safety
At The Pittman Firm we take safety very seriously. Our job as an accident and injury law firm is to fight for the rights of victims injured due to the negligence of others, and to help make a safer world by putting would-be negligent actors on notice that they will have to pay for hurting other people through negligence or carelessness. If you have been injured in an accident of any kind, contact us so we can review your case and talk with you about your options.