How to contact your U.S. members of Congress:
- Go to your member of Congress’ website and use their contact form to send them the letter below – you may copy & paste the sample letter below and personalize it how you see fit.
- Follow up with a phone call to their office to make sure they received your letter.
- Follow up with a phone call or another email to them if you don’t hear back within a few days. Be sure to tell them you are a constituent.
Persistence pays off! Keep calling and writing until you get an answer and ask others to do the same.
Email Subject: Your leadership is needed to prevent hot car deaths
I am writing to you about a tragic, yet solvable, problem which we need your leadership to resolve. Over 1,000 children have died in hot cars since 1990.
This problem will continue until existing technology to detect and alert of a child or pet’s presence inside a parked vehicle is standard in all vehicles – because no one thinks this could happen to them.
On July 1, the Hot Cars Act of 2021 (H.R. 3164) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684). This commonsense legislation requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a final rule for technology to be included as standard equipment in all vehicles that can detect the presence of an occupant and warn the driver and bystanders. It sets a reasonable deadline for agency action.
Language was passed in the Senate infrastructure bill, but it is woefully inadequate. Upgrades are needed in the final bill sent to President Biden to require the technology to detect the presence of an occupant in the passenger compartment to ensure that children who access a vehicle on their own, as well as children who are left in a vehicle, are saved (as is accomplished in Section 10101 of the INVEST in America Act, H.R. 3684). Currently, the language calls for a reminder alert to check the back seat, but does not specify that the vehicle must be able to detect a child. In other words, a reminder alert detects a door opening, not a child.
I am writing to request your support on improving the language by specifying that the technology must detect an occupant in the entire passenger compartment of the vehicle.
The Senate bill language is woefully inadequate for the following reasons;
- A reminder alert alone would not protect children who gain access to vehicles on their own and become trapped (26% of all child hot car deaths).
- A reminder alert alone would not deter people from intentionally leaving children or pets in vehicles (14% of child hot car fatalities).
- Reminder alerts alone that sounds every time drivers exit vehicles, whether the back seat is occupied or vacant, eventually becomes too familiar, provides many false alarms and can easily be tuned out.
- A reminder alert can be disengaged by the driver.
There are systems available that could detect occupants as well as replace other sensing systems, which could actually save automakers money. These systems are readily available and cost efficient at less than $20 per vehicle.
After 25 years of educating the public and with awareness at an all-time high, the number of children dying in hot cars continues to rise. Technology is critical to prevention. Please support detection and alert technology in all new vehicles to prevent children and animals from being needlessly killed and injured in hot cars.
Thank you for your consideration. With your leadership and support these needless and tragic deaths can be curtailed.