Mississippi drivers could soon be required to have an alert system designed to help reduce the number of hot car deaths. MPB's Alexis Ware reports
Some members of congress are hoping to use technology to prevent heat-related deaths of children left in cars. The Hot Car Act would require new vehicles to have a system that would alert drivers of passengers left in the back seat. Two children died in hot cars in Mississippi last year.
Carlos Moore is an attorney who represented the father of one of those children. Moore says he had a similar experience, but he says a warning system in his BMW spared him from tragedy.
"Once I got in my office and began work, my car alarm went off for about three to five minutes after I had been in there I thought someone was breaking into my car. I went outside to investigate didn't see anybody but I opened the door just to see what was going on and I saw my daughter sitting in the back seat. My daughter would not be with us today save for the alarm going off," Moore says.
In 2016, 39 children nationwide died in hot cars according to kidsandcars.org.
Lt. Shelia Tucker is a Juvenile Investigator with the Rankin County Sheriff's Department. She says a few tricks can help drivers remember to check for backseat passengers.
"Women can put their purse in the backseat, because most women are not going to get out of the vehicle without their purse. They can put their cell phone back there because just about nobody is going to leave without the cell phone, most people have it with them. Or, put something that's attached to their arm to something back there on the car seat that reminds them to get that child out of the car," Tucker says.
The bill will now be addressed by the House Energy and Commerce and House Transportation and Infrastructure committees.