Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1478
       By Senator Bracy
       11-00077-22                                           20221478__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child safety; providing a short
    3         title; creating s. 316.2226, F.S.; defining the term
    4         “motor vehicle”; requiring, by a specified date, that
    5         motor vehicles be equipped with an alarm system that
    6         prompts the driver to inspect the motor vehicle for
    7         unattended occupants before exiting; providing
    8         penalties; requiring the Department of Highway Safety
    9         and Motor Vehicles to adopt by rule minimum standards
   10         for such systems and to maintain a list of approved
   11         alarm manufacturers and alarm systems; amending s.
   12         402.305, F.S.; revising transportation safety minimum
   13         standards for the licensure of child care facilities;
   14         providing an effective date.
   16         WHEREAS, children and pets left unattended in vehicles, or
   17  children who independently access unoccupied vehicles, are a
   18  significant public health and safety problem, and
   19         WHEREAS, millions of children are transported every day in
   20  the back seat of vehicles and are at risk of being inadvertently
   21  left in the vehicle, which may result in the death of or serious
   22  injury to the child as the result of heat stroke, and
   23         WHEREAS, KidsAndCars.org reports that at least 8,000
   24  children were left alone in hot cars or independently gained
   25  access to unoccupied cars between 1990 and 2020, with more than
   26  990 of those children dying of heatstroke and more than 1,200
   27  injured, and
   28         WHEREAS, despite widespread education programs and public
   29  awareness initiatives over the past 30 years, the number of
   30  child hot car deaths has continued to rise, and
   31         WHEREAS, inexpensive technology is currently available to
   32  detect and alert drivers to the presence of an unattended
   33  occupant in the vehicle, NOW, THEREFORE,
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Jace Lucas Leslie
   38  Act.”
   39         Section 2. Section 316.2226, Florida Statutes, is created
   40  to read:
   41         316.2226Unattended occupant alarm system required.—
   42         (1)As used in this section, the term “motor vehicle” means
   43  a motor vehicle as defined in s. 316.003 which is operated on
   44  the roadways, streets, and highways of this state. The term does
   45  not include:
   46         (a) A school bus as defined in s. 316.003.
   47         (b) A bus used for the transportation of persons for
   48  compensation, other than a bus regularly used to transport
   49  children to or from school, as defined in s. 316.615(1)(b), or
   50  in conjunction with school activities.
   51         (c) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry.
   52         (d) A truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of more
   53  than 26,000 pounds.
   54         (e) A motorcycle, a moped, a bicycle, or an electric
   55  bicycle.
   56         (2)By January 1, 2024, all motor vehicles must be equipped
   57  with a reliable alarm system approved by the department which
   58  prompts the driver to inspect the motor vehicle for unattended
   59  occupants before exiting the motor vehicle.
   60         (3)A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic
   61  infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in
   62  chapter 318.
   63         (4)The department shall adopt by rule minimum safety
   64  standards for such systems and shall maintain a list of approved
   65  alarm manufacturers and alarm systems that meet or exceed those
   66  standards.
   67         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (10) of section
   68  402.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   69         402.305 Licensing standards; child care facilities.—
   70         (10) TRANSPORTATION SAFETY.—
   71         (a) Minimum standards shall include all of the following:
   72         1. Requirements for child restraints or seat belts in
   73  vehicles used by child care facilities and large family child
   74  care homes to transport children.
   75         2. Requirements for annual inspections of such vehicles.
   76         3. Limitations on the number of children that may be
   77  transported in such vehicles.
   78         4. Procedures to ensure that children are not inadvertently
   79  left in vehicles when transported by the facility or home and
   80  that systems are in place to ensure accountability for children
   81  transported by such facilities and homes.
   82         5.Procedures for notification of a child’s emergency
   83  contact if the child does not arrive at the scheduled time and
   84  the facility or family day care home has not received an
   85  advanced notification of the child’s absence.
   86         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.