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As summer starts, advocacy group urges government to implement tech to prevent hot car deaths

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BATON ROUGE — Summer means higher temperatures, which can be dangerous and even deadly. That's why making sure children are not in the car alone is crucial.

Congress mandated a deadline for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to finalize a rule that would require an audio and visual reminder alert to check the back seat in new passenger vehicles. The rule was supposed to go into effect in November of last year, but that ultimately never happened.

“It doesn’t matter if there’s a blanket over the child, or they’re in a car seat. This type of tech can see through objects; it’s so sophisticated it can tell the difference between a little baby’s heartbeat and an adult’s heartbeat,” Director of Kids and Car Safety Amber Rollins said. “So it knows if there's a baby heartbeat in the car and not an adult heartbeat, we’ve got a problem.”

Kids and Car Safety Organization is working to urge the government to implement technologies that can detect when an infant is alone in a vehicle and notify law enforcement, and send them GPS coordinates for the vehicle.

“The National Highway Traffic Administration set a deadline for themselves of issuing the role of proposed lawmaking in August,” Rollins said. “We just don't know if they're gonna meet that they've already delayed, delayed, delayed, and so this is why we're speaking out to encourage them that it is time to act because families continue to bury their children and that just doesn't have to happen.”

According to Rollins, there were 29 hot car deaths last year alone, with three already happening this year. At least 1,085 children have died in hot cars since 1990 in the United States.

Around 55% of these were on accident, Rollins added.


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