Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Peter King (R-NY) Celebrate House Passage of HOT CARS Language

Sep 6, 2017

Washington, DC -- Today, legislative language from the HOT CARS Act was passed in the full House of Representatives as a part of the SELF-DRIVE Act of 2017. After its passage, Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Peter King (R-NY), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) released the following statements:

“No child should endure the tragedy of dying while trapped in a hot vehicle. The unfortunate reality is that even good, loving and attentive parents can get distracted. Studies have shown that this can happen to anyone, anywhere. I am proud that we were able to get this important language through the Energy and Commerce Committee and pass the full House. There isn’t a Congressional district in the country that is immune from these tragedies. This legislation will help mobilize inexpensive, readily available rear seat technology to save children’s lives. Representatives Schakowsky, King and myself will continue to press this issue. Our kids are worth it,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH).

“I am proud that we were able to include language from our HOT CARS bill in the legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives today,” said Ranking Member Schakowsky (D-IL). “Already, 37 children have died from heatstroke in vehicles this year – more than one per week. You get a warning when you leave the keys in the car. You should get a warning if you leave a child in the car. It’s time for action, and the language in this bill would be a great step forward. Children are dying preventable deaths – we cannot afford to wait.”

“I am proud to work with Reps Ryan and Schakowsky on this important legislation. The belief is that it can’t happen to you, always someone else. Unfortunately it happens over and over again, even to the most conscientious parents. Technology is available and it can be placed in new vehicles to protect innocent children. It’s really that simple,” said Congressman Peter King (R-NY).

“The auto industry knows we are human and can unfortunately forget one step in this busy and fast paced society.  They have kindly added reminders so we put on our seatbelts, to fill our low gas tank, so we don’t leave our keys in the ignition and don’t forget to turn off our headlights. This alert will let us know ‘just in case’ our quiet little rear-facing passenger in the back seat isn’t where they need to be” said Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org.

HOT Cars legislation will help prevent children from being needlessly killed and injured when unknowingly left alone in vehicles. The bi-partisan effort has received widespread support from more than twenty of the nation’s leading public health, consumer and safety organizations, as well as experts in neuroscience and the brain memory system and families who have lost their child or were seriously injured due to child vehicular heatstroke. This language specifically would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a final rule requiring vehicles to be equipped with an alarm system that alerts the driver to check the rear seat after a car is turned off.