You have a 3 year old baby girl in the back of your car and you love your little girl more than anything else in the world. Well you need to run in the bank and do something. So, you leave her in the car. The line is longer than you would have thought but you shrug it off. Now this is something that could happen to anyone and anything could happen in this time to that child. They are small and should by no means be left attended. They could hurt themselves, be hurt by heat, or someone else could take them. So many things have happened while children were in vehicles. Now if your 16 year old doesn't want to go into the bank with you then yes that should be fine but anyone under the age of 12 shouldn't be in a car alone.
There have been occasional news stories of an adult leaving a child in the car in extreme heat, especially. That kind of heat would kill. I have felt extreme heat in a car when getting in it after it has been sitting in the sun. A neglected child may be in there for hours while the adult works.
In several states, leaving any child under a certain age unattended in a vehicle is illegal. The officer is allowed to destroy your vehicles windows to obtain entry, and a ticket or worse is issued. The law is a little overkill due to the inability at times to tell how long the child has been left unattended, but it probably saves lives.
I believe if any parent leaves a child under twelve years of age,in a car, it should be a punishable crime. I believe a child who is at least twelve has the mental capacity to leave the car if it gets too hold or turn the car on if it gets too cold. A really young child may not have the ability to save themselves if something goes wrong.
There is no reason whatsoever to leave a child unattended in a hot car. It is a form of child neglect, and should be punishable whereas defined by law. Murder charges should also be applicable to the individual(s) who are found guilty by the majority of a jury in court.
Leaving children unattended in a vehicle is very dangerous for several reasons. First, it provides easy access for someone to steal the car with the child in it. In some cases, thieves have inadvertently driven off in stolen cars only to discover a child in the backseat. The heat or freezing cold obviously pose major health risks as well.
Whether or not leaving a child in a vehicle can be considered dangerous depends on a number of factors - The child's age, maturity level, location of the vehicle, the length of time and the weather all impact an assessment of the situation. Leaving a 13 year old in an air conditioned car in full view of the windows of a convenience store while your run in to pay for gas would be considered by most to be reasonably safe. On the other hand, leaving a baby in a hot car in a busy mall parking lot for an hour would be universally considered reprehensible. By making leaving a child in the car unattended illegal, both of these would be treated the same way, which isn't fair. The actions should be considered under existing laws regarding abuse and neglect, which would allow the circumstances to dictate whether it was illegal to do so.
I think making it illegal would just lead to another waste of police time. Some children are mature enough to be left in the car for short periods while their parents pay for gas, drop of a book ect. Sometimes there are emergencies where a parents needs to leave their kids in the car while they run into the house for a second. Parents should have enough sense to know when this is, and is not appropriate.
To be able to enforce this law, police officers would have to be stationed around every parking lot and driveway in the nation. It would be either this, or cameras would have to be installed in every vehicle used by civilians. Both of these measures violate the human right to privacy which is entitled to all people in our nation. It may seem like a good idea on paper to illegalize this, but it simply is not constitutionally enforcable.