New York seems so incredibly intent on telling parents how to raise their kids that the State Senate just voted for a bill it already voted for in 2012 and 2013, snaetsnrsb
prohibiting kids under age 8 from waiting in the car.
The bill has yet to become law because, apparently, the Assembly keeps voting it down or simply letting it die. This will sound strange but: Let’s hear it for the New York State Assembly!
Meantime, according to an article posted today by the Associated Press:
New York state would make it illegal to leave a child younger than 8 in a vehicle alone under legislation that has won passage in the state Senate.
The Senate voted in favor of the bill on Monday. It now moves to the Assembly for consideration.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Jack Martins of Long Island, says cars should never be used as “baby sitters” and that leaving a young child in a car alone can lead to ‘tragedy.”
The measure is designed to prevent children from being left alone in vehicles when it’s too hot or cold. The Senate cited data showing that more than 700 children have died from heat stroke in the last 25 years around the country after being left alone in cars.
But then there’s this post of mine from 2012:
Hi Readers. My very own state — New York — just passed an overprotective, unnecessary, parental-decision-damning bill. Here’s the scoop, according to the Queens Chronicle:
In order to better ensure child safety, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill on Feb. 29 that would make it illegal for parents or guardians to leave children under the age of 8 alone in a motor vehicle. Multiple infractions would constitute a misdemeanor.
The bill applies to any person legally charged with care of a child and states that they cannot be left alone or with anyone under the age of 12, “under conditions which would knowingly or recklessly present a significant risk to the health or safety of the child.”
So let me repeat myself, just like the NY State Senate:
The problem is that what I consider a “significant risk” may be quite different from what the authorities consider a “significant risk.” So even if I think my 7-year-old can wait in the car, reading a comic book, while I go in to buy stamps, someone else with a badge or gavel might consider that treacherous. After all, what if there’s a carjacking? What if the child is snatched? What if the car overheats in ten minutes and somehow my kid can’t figure out how to open the door? Or (to paraphrase some folks interviewed in the Queens Chronicle article): What if the state needs to make money and penalizing my parenting decisions is an easy way to grab it?.I understand the actual issue driving this particular law: Trying to save children from being forgotten in the car and left to die a horrible death by hyperthermia. But it’s not as if anyone MEANS to forget their child in the car all day. So saying, “Forget your child and you will get a ticket!” is not likely to have a bigger effect than, “Forget your child and he may DIE.”.As I’ve said before on this topic, the best way to keep your kids safe is to put your purse, briefcase, phone and/or wallet in the back seat next to the car seat. That way, even if somehow you WERE about to forget your sleeping infant (which is the way most of the deaths happen), now you will open the back door and see him/her there.