Legislators Seek Tougher Penalties For Adults Who Leave Kids In Cars

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More action and tougher penalties. That’s what one state senator is pushing for when adults leave a child alone in a hot car.

State Senator Toni Boucher said next legislative session it’s time to stiffen the penalties.

She wants our legislators to hammer out a plan that would toughen laws for adults who leave a minor alone in a vehicle.

Right now, it’s a class A misdemeanor in Connecticut to leave a child under the age of 12 unattended in a car.

The penalty can be up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.

Boucher said once legislators get into next session, the topic should be brought up within several committees but done so in a careful way.

“You also want to be balanced,” she said “Because there is no question, right now, the vast majority of people, their hearts go out to the families first and foremost. It’s devastating, they’ll never recover from the loss of a child in whatever the circumstances are.”

According to Kidsandcars.org Connecticut is one of 17 states that have laws on the books preventing parents from leaving their children unattended in cars.

Earlier this month in Tennessee the state adopted a law that allows a person to legally smash a window to enter a car if they feel a child is in danger while alone in a sweltering hot vehicle.

Statistics show that last year 44 children died nationwide from a heatstroke after they were left alone in a vehicle.

This year, 16 children have died.

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