DENVER (CBS4)– A bill designed to save the lives of children and pets moves forward at the state Capitol. The measure would give immunity to Good Samaritans who break into a stranger’s vehicle to save a child or pet.
According to the current law, those who act to save lives can be prosecuted.
Last year, nearly 40 children nationwide died of heatstroke after being left in a hot car. The temperature in a vehicle can increase by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes which means on an 80 degree day, it’s 100 degrees inside a car even if the window is cracked and the car is in the shade.
Both Democrat and Republican sponsors of the bill say they’re getting support from law enforcement, veterinarians and pediatricians for the legislation.
Rep. Lori Saine, a Republican representing Weld County, and Rep. Joanne Ginal, a Democrat representing Fort Collins, came together on the bill that would grant immunity to rescuers under certain situations.
“If this bill saves even one life, it’s worth it,” said Ginal.
The Good Samaritan must make an effort to find the owner, call police and there must be evidence the child or pet is in “imminent danger.”
“We are not here today to heap blame on anyone who forgets their child or dog in a hot car. We are here to provide a solution for folks who step in to help when the unthinkable does happen,” said Saine.
The bill passed its first committee hearing unanimously on Thursday with no opposition. Ten other states have similar laws on the books.