(WTAJ) — A new law is now in effect to protect any Good Samaritans who try to save a child from an overheated car. Police said this law will help save lives and remind parents to check the back seat before walking away from your car.
“Your children should be in your direct observation at all times, when they’re in your care,” Logan Township Police Chief David Reese said. “You wanna make sure that they’re with you at all times and if you’re going anywhere that you ensure that you make appropriate plans when you’re taking your children with you.”
The law, though signed by Governor Wolf back in May, went into effect on Monday. It states anyone who breaks into a car with good faith should not be responsible for any damage to the vehicle. The person must also stay with the child in a safe location until police or ems arrive to the scene.
“A reasonable amount of force to enter the car according to the law is allowable, but the first thing you should do is call 911,” Reese said.
Many new cars have technology to remind you to check your backseat before leaving your car. The navigation app “Waze” has a child passenger setting you can turn on that pops up at the end of your trip.
“The messaging has to keep going,” Reese said. “We don’t want to have one tragedy because we didn’t get the message out. We remind people to be very cognizant of their children being seatbelted in properly and ensuring that their children are with them at all times under their observation.”
One tip for parents or anyone driving a little one around is putting your cell phone in the back seat. Most people make sure to grab their phone before leaving the car, so by putting it by either your child’s car seat or having your child hold onto your phone, you’ll remember they’re in the car and save them from the potential danger.