Denver -- Today, the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee unanimously passed Senator Vicki Marble’s (R-Fort Collins) bill granting immunity to good Samaritans who perform an emergency rescue for an animal or a person in a locked vehicle.
House Bill 17-1179 provides immunity from criminal or civil liability to a person who chooses to forcibly enter a locked vehicle in an emergency situation to assist an animal or person who is at risk within the vehicle.
A recent study found that about 37 children die in heat-related deaths per year from being trapped in a car. This number is even higher for pets trapped in a vehicle.
It only takes a matter of minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to become high enough that to cause brain damage and even death for children and pets.
HB-1179 encourages witnesses of these situations to take action without the threat of criminal charges or civil liability. It also raises awareness among citizens about the actions they can legally take in these emergency situations.
“This bill is a matter of life and death,” said Marble. “We’re telling people that as a last resort they can and should act, and we’re giving the good Samaritans of our community the ability to take action in an emergency situation without fear of unfair consequences. The bill has great support from many organizations, including EMS and the Humane Society, and I hope that its success will continue in the interest of making our state safer and smarter in these dire situations that threaten the lives of many animals and children.”
HB-1179 will now go to a vote of the Senate.