BOCA RATON (CBS4) – Declaring that “today is the day of our commitment so another child will not needlessly lose their life,” Florida state senator Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach) unveiled her plan to prevent daycare van deaths.
The bill, named in honor of 2-year-old Haile Brockington, would require child safety alarms in all daycare vehicles that transport children. Sachs announced the bill at Summit Private School in Boca Raton.
Brockington died in August after being left in a daycare van for 7 hours in the hot summer sun. The daycare where Haile died, Katies Kids, has since shutdown the location in Delray Beach.
Brockington’s mother, Nelder Lester, stood beside Senator Sachs as she talked about the proposed legislation named for Halie. The systems are used in other states across the nation. The alarm sounds when the ignition to the van is turned off, requiring the driver to walk to the back of the vehicle to deactivate the alarm.
If the alarm is ignored, an external alarm sounds on the bus to alert people going by that the van has not been checked. Sachs said vans could be retrofitted for the alarms for as little as $250.00
“We want to use the best of technology to make sure a child is returned back to their home,” Sachs said.
Lester said she wants her daughter’s life to count for something.
“This is the hardest time of year, this baby should be with her family,” says Lester’s attorney Andrew Yaffa. Yaffa says they support the efforts of Senator Sachs and hopes such alarms will be required in all fifty states.
The bill is expected to be taken up when the 2011 legislative session begins in March.