Bill would require sensors to prevent hot car deaths

Sensors alert drivers if child is left in back seat after car is turned off

Automobiles
In this Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, photo, Chevrolet cars sit on the lot of a dealer in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he’ll introduce legislation aimed at preventing heatstroke deaths of children trapped inside hot vehicles.

The Connecticut Democrat says his bill directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require cars to be equipped with technology that can alert drivers if a child is left in the back seat once the vehicle is turned off.

He says such technology is available in some vehicles and aftermarket products exist. However, he says it’s not widely used.

On average, 37 children die each year after becoming trapped inside overheated cars in the United States. Blumenthal says it can take minutes on a hot day “for a car to turn into a deathtrap for a small child.”

Democratic Sen. Al Franken, of Minnesota, is co-sponsoring the Senate bill.

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