New Oklahoma Law Protects Use Of Force To Save Children Left In Hot Cars

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OKLAHOMA (KFSM/KFOR)- A new law in Oklahoma is aimed at saving the lives of children who have been left in hot cars and protecting the "good Samaritans" who get them out.

House Bill 1902 states that anyone breaking into a locked vehicle to rescue a child cannot be sued. The bill goes into effect immediately.

There are, however, several stipulations. A "Good Samaritan" would be protect from liability if he/she:

  • found the vehicle locked “or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the child to exit” the vehicle;
  • has “a good-faith belief” that forcible entry “is necessary because the child is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed” from the vehicle, and, “based upon the circumstances … the belief is a reasonable one”;
  • contacts the local law-enforcement agency, the fire department or the 911 emergency telephone service prior to breaking into the vehicle;
  • leaves a notice on the vehicle’s windshield “with the person’s contact information, the reason entry was made, the location of the child,” and word that authorities have been notified;
  • remains with the child “in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the motor vehicle,” until the police or sheriff’s department, fire department or some other emergency responder arrives;
  • exercised “no more force … than necessary under the circumstances” to enter the vehicle and remove the child.