Lawmaker Wants Immunity For People Rescuing Kids In Hot Cars – And Someday, Pets

Several children have died in hot cars in Tennessee in recent years, but it's not clear Hawk's bill would realistically do much to help. However, he says if passed, it could provide a framework down the road for legislation that would also protect people from lawsuits when trying to save pets stuck in hot cars. (Photo via flickr/grahamcase)

Several children have died in hot cars in Tennessee in recent years, but it’s not clear Hawk’s bill would realistically do much to help. However, he says if passed, it could provide a framework down the road for legislation that would also protect people from lawsuits when trying to save pets stuck in hot cars. (Photo via flickr/grahamcase)

A state lawmaker wants to make sure people can’t be sued if they break into a hot car to rescue a child locked inside from heatstroke.  If the proposal becomes law, it could provide a framework to one day block lawsuits against people rescuing animals, as well.

Rep. David Hawk says this year he’s not trying to make it legal to bust a window to rescue a sweltering dog, but it’s not out of the question.

“We felt we need to save humans’ lives first.  This may lead to possible legislation in the future dealing with family pets that may be in a harmful situation as well.”

Hawk’s bill for rescuing children makes some specific requirements:  You have to call 911 first.  And before taking the kid anywhere, you’d have to leave a note with contact info so the parents know where to get ahold of you.

Hawk admits it’s not clear how much of a difference the bill would make.  While several children have died inside hot cars in recent years, the problem doesn’t seem to be potential rescuers were afraid of getting sued.

Hawk’s bill has already passed in the House, 95 to zero, although the state Senate has yet to take up his proposal.

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