Tennessee laws surrounding hot car rescues put to test as temperatures rise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville may see some of the warmest temperatures of the season this week.

On Monday, some parents there were cited after leaving their children in a hot car.

Now, a Hopkinsville, Tennessee man may face animal cruelty charges for leaving his dog in a hot car.

Media General contributors wanted to see how quickly the temperature inside a car gets dangerous. In just a few minutes, the temperature shot up to 92 degrees.

In about five minutes, the temperature inside the car was about 102 degrees.

About 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths. There is a Tennessee law that gives immunity to bystanders from a lawsuit if they act to protect a person or animal in a hot car, but there are some stipulations.

A person is required to leave their contact information for the car’s owner. You must stay with the person or animal until an emergency responder arrives and must not use more force than necessary.

Lt. Todd Stapleton with Fire Station No. 3 in Cool Springs told News 2 the scenario is an all too common occurrence.

“I would say we probably get anywhere from one to two a week,” he said.

Tennessee is among the top 10 states for children who lose their lives for being left in a hot car.

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