KidsAndCars.org is launching a national effort to prevent child heat stroke deaths
The child safety organization filed a petition Monday, July 14, on the White House’s “We The People” website. KidsAndCars.org hopes the petition will push the Obama administration to allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide more funding for research and development of technologies to detect children left alone in vehicles.
Specifically, the petition would implement the following measures:
- Provide funding for research and development of innovative technology.
- Identify, evaluate and test new technology to accelerate implementation of the most feasible and effective solutions.
- Require installation of technology in all vehicles and/or child safety seats to prevent children from being left alone left alone in vehicles.
"The auto industry already recognizes we're human and our memories often fail us. You get a warning if you don't buckle your seatbelt, leave a car door open, your gas is low or you leave your headlights on," said Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, in a statement. "If you forget your keys in the ignition, you get a warning. If a child is left behind, you absolutely need a warning. The federal government and automakers have the ability to solve this problem, and we need action now."
According to KidsAndCars.org, more than 670 U.S. children have died in hot cars since 1994. Already this year, more than 17 children have died in hot cars.
When outside temperatures are in the 60s, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to more than 110 degrees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Temperatures can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes inside a car.
KidsAndCars.org has previously petitioned successfully for requiring all vehicles to be equipped with trunk release latches to prevent child entrapment, safer power window switches to prevent strangling, and brake transmission shift interlock systems to prevent vehicles from being accidentally knocked into gear.
The new petition needs to collect 100,000 signatures by Aug. 12 to reach the White House.
"We believe the public wants action now," Fennell said in a statement. "These deaths are happening too frequently in communities across the country and the petition will ensure White House attention and a response."
For more information: kidsandcars.org