New Florida law intended to protect children left in vehicles

| 7/3/2007

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill into law intended to discourage adults from leaving small children unattended in motor vehicles.

The new law, previously S2, makes leaving a child alone in a vehicle for more than 15 minutes a criminal offense. The restriction also applies to children left in RVs and the beds of pickup trucks.

Offenders would face up to 60 days in jail and $500 fines. If the child dies or suffers great bodily harm, violators would face up to five years in prison and $5,000 fines.

Supporters said the law is needed to bring attention to the dangers of leaving children alone in vehicles. Opponents said it should be a matter of personal responsibility, not state law.