Tuesday, 28 November 2023

CHP highlights importance of Kaitlyn's Law

LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol is warning the public of the dangers of leaving a child alone inside a sweltering-hot vehicle.

“When left in the sun, it only takes a minute for the inside of the vehicle to become like an oven,” said CHP Lt. Mark Loveless of the Clear Lake Area office.

Heat isn't the only danger; children left in running cars can injure themselves or others by accidentally hitting a gear and putting the car in motion.

“Not only is it dangerous, it is illegal to leave a child in a car,” Lt. Loveless added.

“Kaitlyn’s Law,” also known as the “Unattended Child in a Motor Vehicle Act,” states that anyone who leaves a child of six years old or younger inside a vehicle without the supervision of someone at least 12 years old can be fined $100.

CHP Officer Adam Garcia reported that the county had a fatal collision in 2005 caused by children being left in a vehicle unattended. He said they engaged the gear and caused the crash.

To increase awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around motor vehicles, the organization 4 R Kids Sake has designated the month of August as “Purple Ribbon Month.”

In support of this campaign, the CHP has affixed a purple ribbon to the antenna of all its patrol cars. The ribbons are in memory of children who have lost their lives, including 6-month-old Kaitlyn Russell who died from hypothermia after being left unattended in a parked vehicle Aug. 15, 2000.

“As a driver, you are responsible for all of your passengers’ safety while the vehicle is running and when it is parked,” reminded CHP Lt. Loveless.

The CHP urges anyone who sees an unattended child in a vehicle to immediately call 911.


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