Senator Martins Passes Bill Protecting Children Left Unattended in Motor Vehicles

Jack M. Martins

March 26, 2014

The State Senate has overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola) that makes it unlawful to leave a child under 8-year-old unattended in a motor vehicle.

During the warm summer months, dangerous conditions can arise in standing or parked motor vehicles as trapped heat causes the temperature inside to rise dramatically. Between 1998 and 2004, 230 children have died of hyperthermia from being left in cars. In 2005, by mid-summer, 19 deaths were recorded as a result of hyperthermia.

Senator Martins’ bill requires that children remaining in a parked or standing car be accompanied by a someone who is at least twelve years old.

“This measure protects young children from being neglected inside a motor vehicle, where temperatures can increase by twenty and sometimes thirty degrees. This will act as a deterrent from exposing children to not only harsh weather conditions, but also the increased risk of abduction,” Senator Martins said. “It is incumbent upon us as elected officials to protect those who cannot protect themselves and this legislation does that for children carelessly left unattended in a vehicle.”