Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act (H.R. 3684), which included the language from the Hot Cars Act, a bill aimed at preventing hot car deaths and injuries.
This victory took place just one day after the 1,000th child hot car death took place. *
Kids and Car Safety applauds the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives for advancing reasonable and cost-effective solutions to tackle the excessive number of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries that take place every day. We are especially grateful for the strong and persistent leadership shown by Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Representative Tim Ryan, (D-OH).
More than 88% of hot car deaths involve children who are age 3 years old and younger. Janette Fennell, President and Founder, Kids and Car Safety: “These are our most helpless, fragile, and innocent souls. It is unconscionable to allow another day to pass where we aren't utilizing effective, available technological solutions to stop the devastation that hot car deaths and injuries impose on our families. The Hot Cars Act language incorporated in the INVEST in America Act must be enacted immediately to require detection and alert systems in new cars to stop these needless, preventable, and tragic deaths.”
After 20 years of public education, the number of children dying in hot cars has gotten worse, not better. While public awareness of this issue is at an all-time high, so is the number of children dying. The years 2018 & 2019 were the worst years ever with over 100 babies and small children needlessly killed nationwide.
The auto industry attempted to claim victory on this issue by saying they will voluntarily add outdated and ineffective technology to vehicles called “door logic” instead of comprehensive and effective “detection and alert” systems like what is called for in this legislation. The enactment of a safety standard is critical to ensure that effective technology is installed and that it will properly protect children and pets
Similar to how the dangerous issue of compromised rear visibility was solved with a safety standard requiring rearview cameras in all new cars, detection and alert technology would save countless lives and prevent even more injuries of very young children. Safety standards save lives.
Children will continue to die in hot cars until technological solutions that can detect the presence of a child inside are standard in all new vehicles. Kids and Car Safety along with grieving families throughout our nation are depending on our members of Congress to protect their youngest citizens.