A large number of automobile manufacturers’ commitment to install rear seat reminder systems in new vehicles is being applauded by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., one of the HOT CARS Act sponsors.

The legislation was introduced to help prevent injuries and fatalities when individuals are left in overheated vehicles by requiring alert systems in passenger vehicles. Following the committee’s approval of the HOT CARS Act, the automakers committed to add rear seat reminder systems in new vehicles by year 2025 or sooner, as reported by Daily Journal staff writer Caleb Bedillion.

“I sponsored the HOT CARS Act because I believe we can do more to save children’s lives,” said Wicker. “I am glad to see the auto industry unite behind our legislative efforts by voluntarily agreeing to install this technology in new vehicles.”

While education and awareness about hot car deaths is at an all-time high, Mississippi still ranks #16 in the nation based on the number of child hot car deaths with 20 fatalities since 1995, according to kidsandcars.org. The first child to die in a hot car in Mississippi this year was in Northeast Mississippi and the 35th nationwide. Last year was the worst year in history for child hot car deaths with a total of 53 children that died nationwide.

Sen. Wicker, chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, has pushed forward private industry to comply with safety measures without federal mandates. The commitment by auto makers to help prevent accidental deaths of children left in cars by installing a combination of auditory and visual alerts that will activate after a driver turns off the vehicle is a significant step in addressing these heartbreaking events.

Hot car deaths continue to take place because nobody believes this could happen to them. It has happened in one of our communities. It’s every parent’s unfathomable nightmare, yet it happens several times a year.

This commitment made by auto makers is the first step, along with continued education and awareness, in preventing these devastating events from happening.

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