Pennsylvania law protects those who rescue children from hot cars |

Pennsylvania law protects those who rescue children from hot cars

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Under a new Pennsylvania law that takes effect Monday, July 15, 2019, those who rescue children locked inside hot cars are protected from liability for damages.

A state law protecting Good Samaritans who rescue children locked inside hot cars took effect Monday.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law May 16.

The law provides protection from liability for damages if a person believes a child is in imminent danger, provided they have made a good faith effort to contact the vehicle owner and emergency responders and use no more force than is necessary.

“Sunshine streaming through car windows turns the vehicle into an oven, and lowering the windows slightly is ineffective at keeping the temperature low,” said Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs for AAA East Central. “This law, and last year’s law for pets trapped in hot cars, will go a long way towards reversing the alarming upward trend of hot car fatalities.”

Last fall, Wolf signed a bill into law giving police officers and first responders the authority to enter a vehicle and retrieve a cat or dog that is in immediate distress. However, unlike the child rescue law, it does not give civilians the authority to enter a vehicle by force.

Those who see a dog or cat in distress inside a vehicle are advised to contact authorities.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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