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FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo Cobb County police investigate an SUV where a toddler died near Marietta, Ga., when the father forgot to drop his child off at day care and went to work. A proposed new law that would require carmakers to build alarms for backseats is being pushed by child advocates who say it will prevent kids from dying in hot cars and also streamline the criminal process against caregivers who cause the deaths, cases that can be inconsistent but often heavier-handed against mothers. The latest deaths came in Arizona on triple-digit degree days over the last weekend of July 2017. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution via AP, File)

Influence

Bill would crack down on leaving children in cars

It would be illegal to leave children age 6 or younger unattended in cars for any length of time, under a measure filed Thursday by Democratic state Rep. Emily Slosberg of Boca Raton.

The proposal (HB 115), filed for consideration during the 2018 Legislative Session, would be stricter than current law.

Adults currently can’t leave children in vehicles for more than 15 minutes or for any period of time if the motor is running, the health of a child is in danger or a child appears to be in distress.

Under Slosberg’s proposal, violations would be punishable by a second-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries a penalty of up to $500 and 60 days jail.

Violating current law is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction that carries a fine between $50 and $500. Felony charges are already in place if a child is harmed.

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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