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Congressional Bill Aimed At Preventing Hot Car Deaths Has Local Support

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 19, 2017

A bill aimed at reducing the number of hot car deaths nationwide is making its way through congress, with local support.

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) is co-sponsoring what's called the HOT CARS act, which stands for "Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats."

The bill would require any new car to have a warning system put in place to remind drivers to check the back seat when the car is turned off.

So far this year, two child hot car deaths have been reported in Tennessee, and 23 have been reported nationwide.

Some GM models already have a backseat reminder system installed.

"This is something that should be across the board, there's more safety features that should be added, and I think it's a positive step in the right direction," said Michael Watson with Freeland Chevrolet.

The reminder system is activated when a car's rear doors are opened and closed within 10 minutes of starting the vehicle, or if the doors are opened and closed after the vehicle is started.  Once the ignition is turned off, a message is displayed on the vehicle's instrument panel reminding drivers to check the back seat.

The bill also asks for a report outlining what it would take to outfit all existing cars with back seat reminder technology.