Philadelphia, PA - Governor Tom Wolf just signed the new law providing immunity for good Samaritans who break into a vehicle to rescue an individual trapped inside (HB 279 into law (
). Pennsylvania joins
20 other states
who with similar good Samaritan laws aimed at preventing hot car deaths.
Last year was the worst year in history for child hot car deaths with a total of
. Already this year,
have died in hot cars nationally.
KidsAndCars.org, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of children and animals in and around motor vehicles, applauds Governor Tom Wolf as well as bill sponsors Senator Thomas H. Killion and Representative Karen Boback for their dedication to protect children and others from hot car dangers.
The importance of this bill lies not only in protecting citizens from liability, but more importantly in empowering citizens to act when someone’s life is at stake.
KidsAndCars.org president and founder, Philadelphia resident, Janette Fennell said, “Sadly, we know of cases where passersby saw a child inside a hot car, did nothing and the child died. Nobody should have to think twice when a child’s life is at stake. Protecting children is everyone’s business.”
A vehicle acts like a greenhouse or an oven, heating up to deadly temperatures within minutes. On a 90° day, the interior of a parked car can soar to over 115° within 15 minutes and cracking a window has been proven to not help. A child’s body can overheat 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body. Children can sustain brain damage, organ damage or failure and death within minutes inside a hot car.
KidsAndCars.org recommends parents follow the
‘Look Before You Lock’ safety checklist
to ensure children are never unknowingly left behind in a vehicle and that they don’t get into a vehicle on their own and become trapped.