ST. GEORGE — In a bid to encourage people to rescue potentially imperiled children, a proposed bill planned for the 2018 Utah Legislative session addresses civil immunity for Utahns who use force to remove a confined child from a motor vehicle.
With the number of incidents increasing in which children are left in cars, the proposed legislation would allow Utahns in limited cases – and without fear of civil liability – to smash car windows to rescue children from vehicles that are too hot or too cold.
The bill, entitled “Good Samaritan Law Amendments” and designated as HB 152 in the 2018 session, proposes to remove civil liability for someone who smashes out a window or otherwise forces their way into a vehicle if they do so in good faith and are not grossly negligent or responsible for causing the emergency.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, outlines procedures that would-be rescuers must follow to receive immunity, including all the following:
- The person has a good faith belief that the confined child is in imminent danger of suffering physical injury or death unless the confined child is removed from the vehicle.
- The person determines that the motor vehicle is locked and there is no reasonable manner in which they can remove the confined child from the vehicle.
- Before entering the vehicle, the person notifies a first responder of the confined child.
- The person does not use more force than is necessary under the circumstances to enter the vehicle and remove the confined child from the vehicle.
- The person remains with the child until a first responder arrives at the vehicle.
If the person fails to abide by any of the above provisions or commits any unnecessary or malicious damage to the vehicle, the person would not be immune from civil liability under the proposed bill.
The bill does not address civil immunity for citizens who rescue pets or animals left in vehicles.
- Read full text of bill: Utah 2018 HB 152 – Good Samaritan Law Amendments
- Contact legislators
- Bill sponsor: Tim Quinn
- Southern Utah Sens. Evan Vickers, Don Ipson, David Hinkins and Ralph Okerlund | Listing of all senators.
- Southern Utah Reps. Jon Stanard, Bradley Last, V. Lowry Snow, Walt Brooks, John Westwood, Merrill Nelson and Michael Noel | Listing of all members of the House of Representatives.
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