Land & Milam Bill to Create Penalties for Leaving a Child Alone in a Car Clears Assembly Committee

Anyone who leaves a child under six years of age unattended in any type of motor vehicle would be charged with a disorderly persons offense and subject to fines ranging from $100 to $500 for a first offense and there would be separate offenses for each child left unattended under a measure (A-5017) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bruce Land and Matt Milam (Both D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland). The bill was approved Monday by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. The Assemblymen issued the following statements today:

Assemblyman Bruce Land: “Even when a child is left alone in a car for a short time, the youngster is in danger of abduction, dehydration, injury, and death. We must make sure that people are deterred from ever leaving a child unattended in a car. Monetary penalties could act as the deterrent; however I hope this bill raises awareness and no one is fined because no one leaves a child alone in a car.”

Assemblyman Matt Milam: “I was shocked and saddened to learn that in the United States between 1998 and 2016, 683 children died from heat stroke after being left unattended in a hot car. Twelve of those kids were from right here in New Jersey. Summer is right around the corner and, with this bill we’re trying to send a message: Anyone who leaves their child alone in a car is risking that child’s life. Don’t do it!”