Do You Know The Rules of Arizona’s ‘Hot Car’ Law?
Arizona temperatures are heating up, and that means it’s time to get educated about the Hot Car law that was passed by Governor Doug Ducey last year.
The law states that should a good Samaritan notice a child or pet locked in a car and in distress, the Samaritan may use force to remove the child or pet from the vehicle without being liable for damages.
However, there are five steps a person must go through before taking action and ensuring they are rightfully protected under HB2494.
First, the rescuer must, in good faith, be certain the child or pet will suffer severe injury or death should they remain inside the locked vehicle.
Second, the person must conclude the vehicle is locked and there is no other way to remove the child or pet.
Third, the good Samaritan has called 911 or notified the proper authorities.
Fourth, the person does not use more force than necessary to access the inside of the vehicle to safely remove the child or pet
Fifth, the good Samaritan stays with the child or pet until authorities arrive at the scene.
As long as all five steps are properly adhered to and acted out, the good Samaritan is protected under Arizona law and is not liable for any damages.
Before the law was signed and passed, Arizonans were liable should they attempt to help a pet or child from a locked vehicle. Not only could they be financially responsible for damages done, they also ran the risk of being sued.
The legislation now frees good Samaritans from any risk and allows people to act should a situation require immediate attention, giving more people confidence to help someone in need over being worried that legal repercussion will follow.
Arizona is notorious for its extreme summers. Last year, Arizona had some of the hottest days recorded in history with one day in June reaching 120 degrees.
But temperatures don’t need to be in the triple digits for the inside of a car to heat up quickly. Even on a mild 80 degree day the inside of a car can reach up to 114 degrees within 30 minutes.
In 2017 Arizona had two hot car related infant deaths, and in 2016 Arizona had none. The goal is to continue seeing no hot car related deaths with the new bill in place.
Officials say should you need to help remove a child or pet from a hot car, always move quickly to help cool the child or pet off.
For children, mist them with water and slowly bring their temperature down. Never attempt to cool them off quickly with ice baths which can result in shock.
For dogs, put cool and damp towels on their paws and rush them to a vet for medical attention. Also try cooling them off with a fan.
The important thing to remember is to move quickly and seek medical attention for both children and animals to help prevent seizures or death.