State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley Township) today announced the House passage of legislation to grant civil immunity to Ohioans who break into a locked vehicle to save a child or pet from excessive internal temperatures. 

Senate Bill 215, jointly sponsored by State Senator Jim Hughes (R- Columbus), specifies that the rescuer must contact 9-1-1 prior to forcibly entering the vehicle and that no other reasonable method for the child or animal to escape may exist.
"The same day I introduced this bill, an eight-month-old child in my district passed away after being left in a hot car," said LaRose. "As the father of three young children, I feel a responsibility to help protect other children from becoming the victims of these tragic, preventable accidents. By passing this commonsense legislation, we can encourage concerned bystanders to save the life of a child or pet without fearing legal repercussions."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures of up to 131° F - 172° F when outside temperatures are 80° F – 100° F. Even outside temperatures in the 60s can cause internal temperature to rise well above 110° F."

600 children have died inside excessively hot vehicles since 1990, according to national child safety advocate Kids and Cars. 

Senate Bill 215 will now proceed to the governor to be signed into law.

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