Lawmakers propose vehicle alert system as way to curb child hot car deaths

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HARTFORD -

Sen. Richard Blumenthal Tuesday is proposing legislation that would require car manufacturers to install an alert system that reminds drivers when a child is in the backseat of the vehicle.

Blumenthal announced the proposal for the 'Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act,' commonly referred to as 'HOT CARS,' at Carter Chevrolet in Vernon Tuesday.

The technology would include an alert reminding drivers to check the back seat for passengers when a car is turned off.

"These motion sensors can tell a driver or remind him that there is somebody in the back seat and the car should not be locked," Blumenthal said.

The senator says 52 children, from 1 month old to 5 years old, died last year after being left in a hot car.

Police say many people don't realize that just a few minutes inside a hot, unattended car can be deadly, even if it feels mild outside. The temperature of a car can climb 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. A child's body temperature rises 3-to-5 times faster than adults.

The bill is intended to help curb the number of child fatalities due to being left inside hot cars, which is up 43% since 2017.

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