Bill would warn parents about leaving kids in vehicles
New Jersey parents and others could soon be getting reminded to not leave their children or infants inside or near a motor vehicle alone, even for a moment.
Legislation is scheduled to be considered today by the Assembly Women and Children Committee that would require the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety to establish a public awareness campaign to give information to the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended in and around cars and trucks.
One of the prime sponsors of the measure, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville) pointed out statistics show on average 38 children perish each year from becoming overheated inside motor vehicles.
"When that temperature gets up to a certain amount, sometimes parents even get absent-minded about how long they're leaving this child in the car - it's happened - and that's the reason why this bill is being pushed," Caputo said. "I don't think it's irresponsible, I think parents just don't think anything is going to happen, it's only for a minute or two minutes or whatever."
Caputo said some parents may not need this kind of reminder but "we want to reach those parents that are not paying attention, the ones that are will always you know, reject - why do we need this - of course because they're doing their job perfectly."
"We're not creating these situations, we're trying to resolve it, and we want teachers and parents to be educated and made aware of the dangers they could be putting their children in," Caputo said. "All of these dangers that we're talking about, abductions, strangulation, trunk entrapment, being run over, all of that, could lead to a death or serious injury, and unfortunately there are incidents like this all the time that we see on the news."