New Ohio law helps good Samaritans trying to stop ‘hot car’ deaths

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COLUMBUS, OH - A new law is about to take effect in Ohio that seeks to help prevent the tragic deaths of children or animals accidentally left in hot cars on summer days.

The law has an ironic - and tragic - story behind it.

It was first introduced as a bill last year by State Senator Frank LaRose, a Republican whose district includes Summit County.

On the day the bill was introduced, an 8-month-old was found dead in a parking lot in Summit County after having been left in a hot car.

Senator LaRose was driving home that night when he heard the tragic news.

"It stopped me in my tracks," he says.

That bill has now become law, and Senator LaRose says it's designed to protect people who are trying to save a life.

"It's essentially a Good Samaritan Law," he says, "so, if you're walking through a parking lot, and it's 90 degrees and you see a child or an animal in a locked car, you can break into that car and not worry about being sued."

The law has safeguards built into it, so car thieves can't take advantage of it.

"You have to call 9-1-1 first," Senator LaRose says, "and you have to reasonably believe that a life is hanging in the balance."

He says the law would also apply in freezing cold as well.

Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law, and it is set to take effect on August 31st of this year.

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