AL legislators considering bill about hot car break-ins to rescu - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL legislators considering bill about hot car break-ins to rescue pets, people

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(WAFF) -

We’re less than five full months into 2017 and five children have already died of heat stroke after being left in hot cars, according to NoHeatstroke.org. The website reports that there were a total of 39 deaths reported in 2016. 

As the summer heats moves, state lawmakers are now considering a bill that legally protect you if you chose to break into a hot car to rescue a pet or person.

If House Bill 524 passes, rescuers wouldn't face any penalties for breaking in to save a life.

House Bill 524 stipulates a person is immune from liability for property damage or injury that results from a forcible entry into a vehicle if:

  • They believe there is imminent danger unless the animal or person is removed from the car
  • The vehicle is locked and forcible entry is necessary
  • Law enforcement, emergency medical services or animal control is first called
  • They remain with the person or animal until emergency personnel or animal control officers arrive at the scene
  • If they leave the scene before the owner returns, the following information must be left on the windshield: Their name, phone number, reason vehicle was entered and “the location, if known, of the person or domestic animal when the actor left the scene."

“It’s not unilateral immunity to do whatever you want. You have to call law enforcement. You have to remain on the scene or, if you can’t remain on the scene, you have to leave a note,” said bill sponsor Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa.

England said a group of University of Alabama and high school students in Tuscaloosa worked together on the bill and asked him to sponsor it. The bill came out of committee last week.

In 2013, the Legislature approved a bill making it a crime for day care workers to leave children unattended in vehicles.

There’s a similar law already in place in Tennessee. The Alabama bill is set to be considered in the upcoming session.

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