Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth is protecting young children and preventing tragedies with legislation he introduced that increases penalties for adults who leave a child unattended in a car.
“Every summer we hear of more unattended young children dying in overheated cars. These are preventable deaths and people need to be aware of the dangers and new criminal penalties. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun can increase by 20 degrees in an hour, every hour,” said Dancer.
Dancer noted that in the last two years, almost 70 children died in hot cars, including 44 in 2013 alone.
“My bill is intended to provide a deterrent to parents and care-providers who forget about the life-threatening dangers of leaving young children unsupervised in locked vehicles,” said Dancer. “Law Enforcement Officers will also be authorized to use whatever means are reasonably necessary to protect and remove the child from the vehicle and not be held liable in any civil action.”
Under Dancer’s bill, A-3604, leaving a child under 6 years old unattended in a vehicle would be subject to a $500 fine, and if the child is injured as a result, the charge would be a third degree crime, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
If the child was injured seriously or killed, the charge is a second degree crime, with a fine up to $150,000 and as long as 10 years behind bars.