The “Child Safety Alarm Act” – a bill that will help prevent hot car deaths in daycare vehicles – was signed into law after several high-profile tragedies prompted years of attempts to change the law.
SB 252 by Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) and Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) requires child care providers to install a safety alarm in vehicles used to transport children that would alert the driver to check for children left behind in the vehicle.
“I’m thankful this meaningful legislation has finally become law,” said Stewart. “For years we have debated this bill, and after each session we have gone home to hear tragedies of how children die because someone didn’t double check the vehicle. This law will help put an end to these terrible accidents, and provide peace of mind to families that their children will be safe.”
Senator Stewart first filed the bill in 2017 after the death of 3-year-old Myles Hill of Orlando, who died of heatstroke after being left in the back of a daycare van for seven hours. A previous version of the bill was filed in 2011 by Senator Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) and former Senator Maria Sachs after the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington of Palm Beach County, who died after being left in a daycare van for more than six hours.
“I am grateful to Senator Stewart for her leadership and years of hard work on this critical issue,” said Diamond. “This legislation will help prevent more parents and families from having to endure the unimaginable heartache that far too many have already experienced. I am thankful that the Florida Legislature has finally taken this important step to better protect our children and to save lives.”
Over the last 20 years, Florida has the second highest number of child deaths from vehicular heat stroke, according to KidsAndCars.org.