Hot car death prevention bill coasts through Senate panel

'Ariya's Law' is moving through the committee process.

Legislation that would put a new focus on deaths in overheated automobiles is moving through the Senate, clearing its first stop in the Children, Family, and Elder Affairs Committee with unanimous support.

SB 552 would make April “Hot Car Prevention Month,” intended “to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles and how to prevent hot car deaths from occurring.”

The legislation from Sen. Jennifer Bradley of Fleming Island would “encourage” the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, local governments and other agencies “to sponsor events that promote public awareness and education on the dangers of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles and how to prevent hot car deaths.”

The bill would stress “motor vehicle safety for children,” including informing people of “criminal penalties associated with leaving a child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle” and ways a “bystander” can “rescue a child who is unattended in a motor vehicle and vulnerable or in imminent danger of suffering harm.”

The bill is called “Ariya’s Law,” named after 10-month-old Ariya Paige, a Baker County baby who was left in a vehicle by a babysitter and died from the July heat.

“Since 1998, Florida has had the second largest number of child heatstroke deaths in vehicles (110), second only to Texas (143),” a bill analysis notes. Of that number, seven of those deaths, including Ariya’s, happened last year.

Bradley, who represents Baker County, said in committee the bill was close to her heart and that she can’t “imagine what that family has endured.”

Rules is the second and final committee stop in the Senate for this measure.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Save dogs too

    January 10, 2024 at 10:59 am

    How about adding dogs to that bill

  • Dont Say FLA says It's a Trap

    January 10, 2024 at 11:32 am

    Every case of hot car baby death should be found not guilty due to entrapment via the law requiring parents to do what they would otherwise know not to do, putting a tiny human that sleeps a lot in the back seat, because shit in the back seat is very easily forgotten.

    Even that nasty ass gross Home Depot mofo up in Atlanta who was having online affairs and stuff and got found guilty based on being a sleazeball.

    Had The Law not required his (adorable and thus hugely newsworthy) kid be in the back seat, that kid would not be dead today due to any hot car death.

    That kid would surely be ugly AF by now like his dad, but he wouldn’t be dead from being left in a hot car.

    Same as every other kid that’s ever died in a hot car. It’s the law, and it’s entrapment.


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