Have you ever left your child alone in the car?

Remember Staying in the Car When You Were a Kid?

I remember when I was a kid growing up in the 90s, my brother and I never wanted to go into the grocery store with our parents. Especially once we got our hands on a Game Boy. Why go shopping when we can play Pokemon?

I digress.

But usually, after we put up a big fuss, our parents would let us stay in the car while they ran into the grocery store real quick. The windows were always open and the doors were locked, and everything was fine.

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As we all know, things are a lot different nowadays, especially with all the unfortunate circumstances where children are being left in the car in hot weather for long periods.


Are There Age Restrictions for Children in the Car?

It looks like there is a law on the books that is legal for a child to stay in a car unsupervised.

According to the New York State Senate: Bill Number S5631B is an act to "amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to prohibiting a child less than ten years of age from being left unattended in a motor vehicle under conditions presenting substantial risk.

If a parent leaves a child less than ten in a car unattended or in poor conditions they will be fined for a violation of $50 for the first violation, $100 for a second offense within 18 months, and $250 for a third offense within 18 months.

Read More: How Old Do Kids Have to Be to Stay Home Alone in New York State?

Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins Attorneys at Law add that in 2013 the NY Senate passed a bill that would "make it illegal to leave children under eight years old unattended in a car when conditions, such as hot and cold weather, present a risk of safety to the child. In these situations, the child must be supervised by someone twelve years of age or older."

Parents who fail to comply with the law would be charged with a misdemeanor.

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