Legislation Introduced to Protect Good Samaritans from Civil Liability, Raise Awareness of Dangers of Hot Cars
In his recent State of the State Address, Gov. Doug Ducey joined Arizona’s leading animal-welfare organizations and pledged his support of SB 1001, a bill that aims to end hot-car deaths and allows Good Samaritans to take action without risk of civil liability if they rescue a child or a pet from a hot car.
“All it takes is a Good Samaritan to save a life, to be on the lookout, see movement, take action, and stop another death,” Governor Ducey said during his State of the State address. “The last thing we’d want is any Arizonan worried about breaking into that car to save a life. Send me a bill protecting the Good Samaritans who save the lives of children and pets — and I’ll sign it.”
SB 1001 is sponsored by Senator John Kavanaugh, a longtime animal-welfare advocate who drafted the legislation with the support of the Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona – a group that includes the Animal Defense League of Arizona, the Arizona Humane Society, Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Humane Voters of Arizona. The Humane Society of the United States and local advocates, like Don’t Leave Me.org, are also in support of the legislation.
“Every year, local police and our Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ respond to dozens of calls of children and pets left in hot cars,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, CEO of the Arizona Humane Society. “This law allows us to be able to direct the caller to take action, immediately, without exposing the Good Samaritan to liability for breaking a window and potentially saving a life.”
HVA and its partners hope SB 1001 raises awareness of the dangers of leaving children and pets in the car, even during seemingly comfortable, double-digit weather.
Governor Ducey had been a vocal supporter of Arizona’s animal population and, in fact, used the very first veto of his administration to block legislation that would have severely weakened anti-cruelty laws for farm animals including horses.
(Photo courtesy of Animal Legal Defense Fund)