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Lawton police reminds parents of hot car dangers

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- With these hot temperatures we're expecting over the next few days and the coming months - you may be in a rush to get from your air-conditioned car to a cooler spot.
But Lawton Police want to remind you not to forget those passengers in the backseat.


LPD said around this time of the year, they receive numerous calls about children and pets left unattended in vehicles.


Per the safety organization Kids and Cars, approximately 37 children nationwide die in hot cars each year.

 

"In my opinion, there's nothing more important than getting your kid out of a hot car in the summertime,” said Sergeant Timothy Jenkins.

Jenkins said it's more common in the summer for children and pets to be left in a hot car.

"They think they're just going to the store to get a soda or some water or go to the ATM to get some money out the back or something like that,” said Jenkins. “So, they'll leave their pet or kid in the car because they'll be gone a quick second but that's not a good idea."

He said these incidents normally happen at malls, convenience stores or even in the driveway at home.

Jenkins said most parents and caregivers forget because of one reason...

"They're in a rush,” said Jenkins. “They're trying to get in somewhere really quickly. If they have to take their kid out that's just another extra step that they believe will take them that much longer."

He said even if it's not so hot outside that they could die in the car, it still exposes your child to danger.

"They could get kidnapped,” said Jenkins. “If they're old enough they can unlock the door get out to walk into traffic maybe leave or run away. Then they are lost. When you come back out they are gone."

He said those that choose to make that terrible decision and are caught will be charged with a crime.

"If a child is hurt you can be charged with a felony as well,” said Jenkins. “Same thing with a dog as well. So, we tell people all the time don't leave your kids in the car especially in the summer when it's hot."

He sends a message to those parents and caregivers.

"It'll only be a quick second to get them out, put them back in,” said Jenkins. “Don't leave them in the car. Don't leave your animal in the car. If you do roll the windows down. Give them air something. But don't just leave them in a hot car."

For those bystanders who see a child or pet that's been left in a hot car Jenkins encourages you to call the police.


In Oklahoma, the law says anyone who breaks into a locked vehicle to rescue a child cannot be sued.

However, there are several stipulations. We've provided a list of those below:

House Bill 1902 states that anyone breaking into a locked vehicle to rescue a child cannot be sued. The bill goes into effect immediately.

There are, however, several stipulations. A "Good Samaritan" would be protect from liability if he/she:

  • found the vehicle locked “or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the child to exit” the vehicle;
  • has “a good-faith belief” that forcible entry “is necessary because the child is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed” from the vehicle, and, “based upon the circumstances … the belief is a reasonable one”;
  • contacts the local law-enforcement agency, the fire department or the 911 emergency telephone service prior to breaking into the vehicle;
  • leaves a notice on the vehicle’s windshield “with the person’s contact information, the reason entry was made, the location of the child,” and word that authorities have been notified;
  • remains with the child “in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the motor vehicle,” until the police or sheriff’s department, fire department or some other emergency responder arrives;
  • exercised “no more force … than necessary under the circumstances” to enter the vehicle and remove the child.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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