Good Samaritan bill gives civil immunity to people who rescue kids from hot cars

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A bill that would give Good Samaritans civil immunity if they rescue children locked in cars quickly passed through a House committee on Tuesday afternoon.

House Bill 152, sponsored by Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, would protect people who rescue children locked in cars. Members of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved it.

But to get protection under the bill, a Good Samaritan would need to follow certain provisions.

“It simply states that if an adult thinks a child is in imminent danger with no parent around that person, after going thru a series of checks like calling 911, can break a window as long as they remain until first responders get there,” Quinn said.

First, the person would need a “good faith belief” that the child is in imminent danger of injury or death if not removed from the car. The person also would need to determine there’s no reasonable way to remove the child without damaging the car. The person would then need to call 911 to notify first responders about the situation. When breaking into the vehicle, the person can’t use more force than necessary. Then after getting the child out of the vehicle, the person must stay with the child until first responders arrive.

There was no debate about the bill in the committee. And no one from the public asked to speak. After voting unanimously to approve the bill, the committee voted unanimously to place it on the House’s consent calendar. That means representatives may vote on the bill without debate on the House floor.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

One Comment

  1. Lynda Payne Reply

    :Thank you for your bill to save children and animals in hot cars by passing the “Good Samaritan” bill into law.

    Thank you for the fireworks bill, it’s better than nothing, I was just hoping you would out law private use of fireworks because they are dangerous , childish and unnecessary because there are so many public displays that are fun, safer because of safety and fire equipment on the site availability, and they are not in neighborhoods where it feels like a war zone, scares Ex- soldiers, pets as well as some children.

    It is very nice to receive a report from you on what is being accomplished.

    Thank you for being there for us and for being willing to accept email messages from citizens.

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