New state law protects breaking windows of hot cars to save kids, pets

LAKELAND, Fla. - A new state law may help save the lives of children or pets locked in a hot car.

As we reach the hottest points of the summer, it’s good to know your rights if you see someone in danger.

Earlier this week in Lake Wales, police said a child’s father and grandmother left a three-year-old behind while they shopped in Walmart for 30 minutes. A Good Samaritan called police, who then busted out the back window and saved the child

But a new state law actually gives her the power to break the window herself -- without watiing for police.

“If they feel like that dog or that child’s life is in danger, act immediately, and this law will protect them,” explained Sgt. Gary Gross with the Lakeland Police Department.

Gross said the law is mainly intended to protect people, so you can’t be slapped with a bill to pay for damages.

There are a few rules, though.

You must check to make sure all the doors are locked before breaking the windows, you must call 911 first and then stay with the child or pet until help arrives, even after breaking the window and getting them out. 

“From the perspective of a citizen, they don’t know how long that child or dog has been sitting in the car, and it’s a concern,” said Gross.

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