House Committee Advances Vehicle Entry Bill

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The PA House Judiciary Committee has unanimously passed legislation authored by state Rep. Karen Boback (Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) that would provide civil immunity for damages resulting from forcibly entering a motor vehicle to rescue an individual.

I’ve been down this road before, as this is the third time I’ve introduced this legislation, which has been passed twice before by the House,” Boback said. “My bill again has bipartisan support, and I’m hoping we can get it through the Senate and onto Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.”

Under House Bill 279, such immunity would be granted based on several criteria, including a belief that the individual is in imminent danger of suffering harm and is unable to exit the motor vehicle without assistance. A reasonable attempt to locate the driver and contact law enforcement or an emergency responder must also be made prior to entry.

Similar legislation for rescuing pets became law last session following unanimous passage in both the House and Senate,” added Boback. “When you consider nearly 40 children on average die each year in the overheated interior of a vehicle, I think we’re overdue in enacting a similar law for our children.”

Questions about this or any state government issue should be directed to Boback’s Dallas district office at 570-675-6000 or her Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777.

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