What You Can Legally Do to Help a Child or Pet Locked in a Hot Car in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois
You would think that people would have the common sense and intelligence to know NOT to leave kids or pets locked in a hot car, but sadly, that's not the case.
I know that sometimes accidents happen, but please focus and remember, even if it's not going to be for very long, never leave children, the elderly, or pets in a hot car. No exceptions.
How hot can it get inside a car in the hot sun?
When temperatures outside climb range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172. To keep the temperature inside lower, it is best to have a tint on your window.
Temperatures that extreme can be fatal to humans and animals, even f left in the vehicle for a few minutes in the heat.
What can you legally do to save a child in a hot car in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois?
First, call immediately call 911. If you fear that you have to act before the police arrive, here is what the law states for Kentucky.
Thanks to a state law passed in 2016, you can save a child locked in a car. You're free from liability if you break into a car to save a child and have "a reasonable, good-faith belief" that the kid is in imminent danger of injury.
The law in Indiana,
It's legal in Indiana to rescue kids and pets trapped in hot cars.
Here is what the law states for Illinois.
In Illinois, it is illegal to break into a car even if there is a child or animal in it. A bill has been introduced to change that but it hasn’t passed yet.
- KFVS 12
What can you legally do to save a dog in a hot car in Kentucky and Illinois?
At this moment, in Kentucky...
...there is no law that would protect someone from breaking into a car to save an animal. There have been efforts to expand the protection to allow people to break into cars to save animals, but none have made it to the governor's desk.
Leaving your dog in a hot car in Illinois can land you in jail for up to a year. Breaking into someone else's car to save a dog can also get you arrested. As of 2016, it's a class A misdemeanor to expose a pet to either extreme heat or cold inside of a vehicle.
Several years ago, we interviewed former Evansville Police officer, Jason Cullum and, now, Assistant Police Chief, Phil Smith about what to do in the event you see a child or pet locked in a hot car.
Remember when a video of the EPD rescuing a baby from a hot car went viral? The video is a shocking reminder to never leave your kids in a hot car.
Watch the EPD in action at an area Walmart saving a baby in a hot car.
Heat exhaustion vs. heat Stroke
If you can, stay inside. This heatwave is supposed to last through tomorrow. (Wednesday, June 15)