A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, Sept. 15, would mandate new technology in cars that would issue an alert if a child is left in the back seat.
This year, 29 children have died after being left behind or getting trapped inside a hot car. Research has shown that in most cases when children are left behind, parents accidentally forget their child in a car seat due to a change in routine or patterns.
“The unfortunate reality is that even good, loving parents can get distracted,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who sponsored the bill. “Our cars can already alert drivers when they leave their keys in the car, their lights on, or their trunk open — none of which are life-threatening. Our legislation would move us one step closer to getting this technology in every car on the road to help save lives of children nationwide.”
The bill, called Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats (HOT CARS), calls on the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a rule on reminder technology in two years.
General Motors introduced a reminder system in the 2017 GMC Acadia that prompts drivers to check the back seat before walking away from the vehicle. The automaker intends to roll out the reminder across its lineup in coming years.