NEXSTAR (WASHINGTON D.C.)– More than a dozen children have died in hot cars so far this year, following a record-breaking 52 deaths last year.
Lawmakers believe carmakers must do something to help prevent these tragedies.
Republican US Senator Roger Wicker shares, “This can happen to any family.”
As temperatures continue to rise, so do the risks of hot car deaths.
The Mississippi Senator adds, “This is bound to happen during this heatwave.”
Distracted parents who accidentally leave their children in a hot car, Senator Wicker knows families back home who have made this tragic mistake.
Virginia father Miles Harrison was acquitted in son’s hot car death.
He shares, “I had killed my son. I did it. My poor sweet little boy.”
Earlier this summer, Miles Harrison told lawmakers how it happened to him. Harrison’s newly adopted toddler, Chase, died of heatstroke after Harrison forgot to drop the boy off at daycare on a 90-degree day.
Chase would have been a teenager today.
Harrison shares, “I still have not forgiven myself and don’t know if I have the capacity to do so.”
Wicker’s bill, the ‘Hot Cars Act’, would require all new vehicles to alert parents when someone is still in the back seat after they turn off the car.
The legislation failed two years ago. Some manufacturers have since built in the technology, but others continue to resist it.
The Auto Alliance, which represents the auto industry, is carefully reviewing the proposal but says the better approach is public awareness and education.
Wicker argues it would only cost about a hundred more dollars per vehicle.
He explains, “This is something that industry can do, and it can be done relatively cost-free.”
While carmakers decide whether they’re willing, Wicker hopes to send the bill to the House by the end of the summer.