SC bill protects Good Samaritans rescuing a child from a hot car
Over the past few years there has been a string of fatal accidents involving children left in hot cars.
Rep. Bill Sandifer has proposed a bill that would protect someone rescuing a child or vulnerable adult from a law suit.
By: Camlin Moore
There has been a string of fatal accidents involving children left in hot cars over the past few years.
An average of 38 children in the U.S. die each year from being left inside hot cars. Last year three of those deaths happened right here in South Carolina.
South Carolina is one of the first states to present a solution to by-standards who are hesitant about saving a child for fear of being sued.
South Carolina Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee) has proposed new legislation that could protect someone rescuing a child or vulnerable adult from a law suit.
Sandifer says, "This is just such a horrible, horrible problem and anything we can do to overcome it is beneficial.”
Good Samaritans would not be liable for any damage to a vehicle during the rescue under the bill.
“There would not be a minutes hesitation with or without the bill. I would just take a chance and rescue the individual,” says Rep. Sandifer.
So what would you do if you saw a child left in a hot car? USC Police Captain Eric Grabski says you should use your best judgement to take what could be life saving action.
“I think the message here is that if you see a situation that is so dangerous as this that the community does take action,” says Grabski. Life saving action such as breaking a car window.
The bill states that after forcing entry into the vehicle the person must contact law enforcement and stay with the child or vulnerable adult in a safe location until law enforcement arrives. The law would protect good Samaritans from any civil liability.
Rep. Sandifer says, "If we save one life over so many years, if it's a cause from this law, then the law is beneficial.”
The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee gave the bill its unanimous approval and it is expected to come up for a vote in the full House next week. Rep. Sandifer says passing the bill should not be an issue since children's lives are at stake. He says there as been no opposition to the bill thus far.