Lawmakers again propose prison time for leaving kids in car

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 3:52 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Parents who leave a child unattended in their car could face a year in prison under a bill being considered by Rhode Island state legislators.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Tuesday hearing on the legislation.

Democratic Rep. Patricia Serpa's proposal would make it a crime to leave a child under 7 years old in a car for longer than five minutes. Parents could also be fined or imprisoned for leaving a child under 14 years old unattended in the car if the weather is extremely hot or cold.

Some parents spoke out against similar bills introduced last year.

A Senate bill died in the final hours of last year's session, causing its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Leonidas Raptakis, to criticize lawmakers for caring more about animal welfare than children.