Proposed law, aiming to reduce deaths in hot cars, gets favorable support
Legislation aimed at curbing the number of hot-car deaths in Florida got unanimous favor from a House committee on Tuesday.
The bill — sponsored by House Republican Leader Dana Young, of Tampa, and Rep. Jared Evan Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs — would allow people to break in to locked vehicles in order to free a senior citizen, person with disabilities, child or pet if there is a “good faith belief” that person or animal is “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”
Under House Bill 131, the person breaking in to the vehicle could not be sued for the damage if they call 911 beforehand and remain until emergency services arrive. They also can’t use any more force than is necessary to rescue the person or pet inside.
Young said she’s not aware of any instances where someone has been sued for rescuing a pet or person from a locked car. She said she hopes the proposal brings awareness and empowers bystanders to help save lives.
“We don’t ever want to be in a situation where someone was thinking about doing the rescue and paused, worrying about the liability, and in those moments … something tragic happens,” Moskowitz said.