A new law that empowers passersby to save small children or dogs from suffering in a hot car was recently passed by the Florida legislature. The bill is waiting and ready for the governor’s signature.
This law was passed amid increasing reports about children and pets who are left in hot cars during warm days. It has not been only private citizens at fault in recent cases. In 2015, it was reported that throughout the country, at least 9 K9 police dogs died from being left in hot cars while their handlers were out. Most of those cases were blamed on faulty air-conditioners, but it left lawmakers with motivation to pass a law to help solve the problem.
Florida is particularly well suited to pass such a law. Our sun and summers are notorious for producing hot, humid days. Many times people will run into a store or back into a house for a brief moment, and leave a child or pet in a car. But people can forget quickly, and too often we have seen stories about what happens when someone is left in a hot car.
Dogs were not the only, or even the primary victims of hot car deaths that inspired this law.Children, like pets, are often left in a car only to be forgotten until it is too late. Last year in the United States, it was reported that at least nine children were killed after being left in hot cars. Of those nine, three were in Florida. The elderly are equally at risk of being harmed by being left in a hot car. It is too often that the most vulnerable populations in our society suffer.
What the Law Would Do
There are certain conditions to this law, and if a good Samaritan decides to intercede, they must comply with other portions of the law. The law empowers a citizen to break into a car where a child or pet has been left. But immediately following this, the good Samaritan must call 911. Of course, a person could always have done this, but in the past they might have faced civil liability for doing so. This new law would absolve any good Samaritan from liability and shield them from a lawsuit for trying to save a pet or child.
It is expected that the governor will sign this bill into law. If he does, the hope is that future pain and suffering can be avoided by empowering the citizenry to act when a need to do so is observed.
Panama City Accident and Injury Attorney
At The Pittman Firm, our focus is always on other’s safety and welfare. As an accident and injury law firm, we play an important role in our system of justice. When a person is harmed by the negligent acts of another, we help balance the scales of justice and make those who cause harm pay for the damage they inflict. If you or someone you love has been harmed in an accident, contact us. We will go over your case with you and provide you with the legal counsel you need.