TN child heat rescue law has AL attention - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

TN child heat rescue law has AL attention

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TN lawmakers enacted legislation that lets you break into a car if a child's life is in danger. (Source: MGN Online) TN lawmakers enacted legislation that lets you break into a car if a child's life is in danger. (Source: MGN Online)
MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Lawmakers are determined not to let the deaths of children in hot cars continue.

Tennessee state legislators passed a law, which went into effect Tuesday, allowing a person to break into a vehicle if they believe a child’s life is in danger.

Under the bill, a person is immune from civil liability for any damage resulting for forcible entry of a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor from the vehicle.

The law does have some caveats. The person must first ensure the vehicle is, in fact, locked, and that there is no other reasonable means for the child to exit the vehicle. There has to be a “good-faith belief” that forcible entry is necessary because the minor is in imminent danger.

Emergency responders must be notified before forcible entry is attempted. The person must leave a notice on the vehicle’s windshield with proper contact information, the reason for entry, the location of the child, and that authorities have been notified.

Finally, the person must remain with the minor in a safe location.

The legislation has Alabama residents and local law enforcement members taking notice.

Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said leaving children in hot cars is a problem no matter where you live. He said that here in Alabama, even without the same law as Tennessee, if you see a child suffering, you should do something to help.

“Pick up the phone and call 911,” Muncey said. “If that’s not available, take some sort of action that will save the child’s life – because if you don’t, you’ll regret it forever.”

For expert tips on keeping your children safe from heatstroke, click here.

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