New TN Law Lets You Break Into Hot Car to Save a Child -- Mikayla Lewis
Updated: Friday, July 11 2014, 11:27 PM CDT
Stream WZTV Fox 17 Newscasts LIVE starting with Fox 17 This Morning at 5am and News at 9pm.What happens if you see a child in a hot car in Tennessee? As of July 1st, you can take matters into your own hands to save the child.
Parents across the country have left their children in the car. According to Kids&Cars.org 17 died from heatstroke in vehicles this year nationwide.
Andy Goldstein, Nashville parent says, " I think it's terrible, but I think that people are quick to vilify people who leave their kids in the car. "
Regardless if it's an accident or intentional, State Representative David Hawk sponsored a bill that is now protecting helpless kids in hot cars and those that help them.
Rep. David Hawk says, :"The instance of one child dying in this is too many so we need to make sure the average citizen knows they are empowered to be able to help."
The law states:
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29, Chapter 34, Part 2, relative to
civil immunity for certain actions involving a motor vehicle.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29, Chapter 34, Part 2, is amended by
adding the following as a new section:
(a) A person whose conduct conforms to the requirements of subsection (b)
shall be immune from civil liability for any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a
motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor from the vehicle.
(b) Subsection (a) applies if the person:
(1) Determines the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable
method for the minor to exit the vehicle;
(2) Has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary
because the minor is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately
removed from the vehicle and, based upon the circumstances known to the
person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one;
(3) Has contacted either the local law enforcement agency, the fire
department or the 911 operator prior to forcibly entering the vehicle;
(4) Places a notice on the vehicle's windshield with the person's contact
information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the minor and that
the authorities have been notified;
(5) Remains with the minor in a safe location, out of the elements but
reasonably close to the vehicle until law enforcement, fire or other emergency
responder arrives; and
(6) Used no more force to enter the vehicle and remove the child from
the vehicle than is necessary under the circumstances.
(c) Nothing in this section shall affect the person's civil liability if the person
attempts to render aid to the minor in addition to what is authorized by this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect July 1 2014, the public welfare requiring it.
Andy Goldstein says, " Safety first... if I get to pay for a window because I left my kids in the car. that's the least of my problems."
Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17.