Senate gears up for ‘hot car death prevention’ bill

Heat wave
'Ariya's Law' is almost a reality.

Legislation that would put a new focus on deaths in overheated automobiles has already passed the House by a unanimous vote.

On Wednesday, the Senate could do the same with similar legislation, given that SB 554 is up on the Special Order calendar. The bill 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 a committee stop the bill was close to her heart and that she can’t “imagine what that family has endured.”

The House version (HB 591) could be substituted for the Senate product and voted on this week. Alternatively, the Senate version could pass, and be sent back to the House for technical refinements.

A.G. Gancarski

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


3 comments

  • The Dunning-Krugers of Florida

    February 17, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    “Since 1998, Florida has had the second largest number of child heatstroke deaths in vehicles (110), second only to Texas (143),”

    You monsters; too dumb to both own a car and be a parent. floridiots

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 19, 2024 at 9:43 am

    If we really don’t want dead kids in hot cars, maybe let parents put them in the front seat again like when America was great and Florida was free.

    Some busybody nanny government worker figured kids would be in less danger in the back seats of cars than in the front seats. They were WRONG

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    February 19, 2024 at 10:39 am

    Build that wall! The one that doesn’t let people out their car without their kids from the back seat.

    We are always talking about a fantasy wall to solve all our problems, so hey, why not? There’s got to be a wall that will solve hot car child death.

    Or maybe Rhonda could get some of Texas national guard to come to Florida to be stationed in parking lots making sure people don’t forget their kids the law requires them to put in the back seat where they can demonstrably be forgotten about and be fried to death like a traitorous insurrectionist should.

Comments are closed.


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