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New legislation introduced to target 'hot-car deaths'

Posted: 8:37 AM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 08:43:27-05

NEW YORK — A new legislation will be proposed Tuesday in an effort to put an end to "hot-car deaths" by requiring child care providers take extra steps to reach parents and emergency contacts when kids are absent unexpectedly.

The legislation comes in response to the July 2019 death of infant twins who were left in the back of a car in the Bronx after their dad forgot to take them to their day care and went to work.

The twins’ father, Juan Rodriguez, was arraigned July on charges of manslaughter, negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, according to police. He pleaded not guilty.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is trying to have child care providers step up to help save lives.

Current law states New York City child care centers must call, text or email parents or legal guardians within one hour after a child does not show up unexpectedly.

New legislation would add an extra step. When a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached or does not respond to messages within 30 minutes, the child care service must make at least three attempts to notify at least two emergency contacts listed in the child’s file. The child care providers must also maintain a record of having made such attempts.