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Readers Overwhelming Support Good Samaritan Laws To Break Into Hot Cars To Rescue Kids and/or Pets

June 8, 2016 Crime, Missouri, Politics/Policy 3 Comments

Laws regarding kids or animals left in hot cars vary by state, but the newest being passed are good Samaritan laws that breaking into hot cars to rescue kids or animals believed to be in danger.

From Monday:

Good Samaritans who break into vehicles in an attempt to rescue children trapped inside would be protected from civil liability under legislation pending before Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Elijah Haahr, a Springfield Republican, said the goal is to encourage people to act quickly if they believe it’s necessary to save kids from dangers such as deadly excessive heat. (KMOX)

This was the topic for the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Would you support or oppose a law that allows breaking into hot cars to save kids and/or animals?

  • Strongly support 12 [32.43%]
  • Support 14 [37.84%]
  • Somewhat support 3 [8.11%]
  • Neither support or oppose 1 [2.7%]
  • Somewhat oppose 1 [2.7%]
  • Oppose 3 [8.11%]
  • Strongly oppose 2 [5.41%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [2.7%]

Nearly 80% support. I looked for arguments against such laws, but couldn’t find anything. More than 16% indicated opposition, so I’m curious to hear why.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    The intent of the proposed law is good, but much like conceal carry laws, the “devil” is in the application in real-world situations. If it’s 90 degrees plus, and a child or animal is in obvious distress, there’s no question that action is required (and no one is going to get charged with damaging private property anyways). But when it’s 65 or 70 or 75, and it requires a judgement call, what one person decides is “distress” is absolutely “normal” to someone else. The best recent example is what happened in Yellowstone, where a shivering baby bison was “rescued” by “concerned” tourists, only to to have the bison euthanized after being rejected by its mother (because of human contact)*. This proposed law is just another case of “we need a law” when, in reality, we just need common sense. The vast majority of prosecuters are not going to prosecute a good Samaritan who was acting in the best interest of the victim, but there’s very little any law can do to prevent someone from filing suit, in civil court, against someone else for some real or imagined harm. Fortunately, would most lawyers won’t take on a case where documented good intentions result minor property damage, so this boils down to protecting people from being sued in small claims court. Bottom line, I don’t see a real need, so I don’t think we need another law that will rarely, if ever be applied. *https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/06/07/i-saw-the-baby-bison-that-tourists-tried-to-rescue-heres-what-you-dont-know-about-the-story/


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