Bill protects good Samaritans for breaking into cars to save kids, animals

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- With the hot Florida sun, a car can be a deathtrap for your children and pets.

On average, 37 children die every year in the United States from heatstroke after being left in a hot car. A new bill reached the Florida House floor this week that could protect those who bust into a car to rescue a pet or child trapped inside.

“I’m a mom and a dog owner, you know, it’s just not right,” said Michelle Niezelski. “You don’t want to be left in a car for that long. Why would you leave someone else in the car for that long?”

Firefighters statewide back the bill too.

“We do the exact same thing when we find a child locked in a vehicle that we do when a house is on fire. We show up and we bust inside and get them out,” said Rocco Salvatori, with the Florida Professional Firefighters.

But not everyone agrees, some say the bill could use clarification.

“If I’m running into the gas station to pay for my gas real quick, I mean, I don’t expect somebody to break my window. That’s if my dog is in the car, if my child was in the car, I’d take her with me, obviously,” said Anthony Distefano.

“Hopefully people will use a little bit of common sense and stay around the vehicle for a couple of minutes if they think somebody is in distress or a dog is in distress,” said Ken Hamilton.

The good Samaritan would first have to make a reasonable effort to find the parent or owner before breaking any windows.

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