Bill cracks down on leaving children alone in cars

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Source: Some lawmakers are looking to make big changes concerning leaving children in cars.A new bill making its way through the Florida legisla...

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Some lawmakers are looking to make big changes concerning leaving children in cars.A new bill making its way through the Florida legislature, aims to make it illegal to leave a child alone in a car, even for just for a moment.Current Florida law says you can leave a child alone in a car for up to 15 minutes. That’s anyone under the age of 6. Under the new bill, parents could be charged with a misdemeanor if they leave their child alone for any length of time.

News4Jax spoke to Stephanie Pippin and her 4-year-old son in a Publix parking lot. Pippin couldn’t help but get emotional when she found out about the bill that aims to crack down on leaving kids alone inside cars.”I’ve just heard way too many stories. If the car is left unlocked, somebody could come and take it, with your child in it. People have left their kids in an unlocked car. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself,” said Pippin.

Those scenarios are why Pippin believes the bill is a good idea. If passed, parents could face a second-degree misdemeanor. The proposed bill would not only give police officers the right to remove your child if they are left behind for just a few minutes. Officers could turn them over to the Department of Children and Families if they can’t find the parents.

Danielle Kessenger with Safe Kids Northeast Florida said in a 10 minute time frame, the inside of your car can rise 20 degrees on a 72 degree day.

“People really should think about- is that the car is not a babysitter. The car is not a playground. The car is a means of getting from here to there. We should really use it as such and be cautious,” said Kessenger.

Pippin agrees, and said no matter what the situation is, just don’t leave your children.

“It takes a second. And so if you can protect your kids, why not just have them with you at all times,” asks Pippin.

The bill also calls for a third-degree felony if the child is badly hurt. If this were to pass, it would take effect this October.

Source: News 4 Jax

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