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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee.

Gov. DeSantis is declaring the month of April as Hot Car Death Prevention Month

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. Gov. DeSantis said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022 that he plans to petition the state's Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines.
John Locher
Under new legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, state and local leaders will be partnering up in a statewide initiative to educate the public about the dangers and penalties associated with leaving kids unattended in cars.

The declaration aims to bring awareness to the dangers of leaving kids unattended in vehicles.

The month of April is officially being recognized as 'Hot Car Death Prevention Month' in Florida.

That’s under a bill, HB 591, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving kids behind in in cars.

“Awareness will really save lives, not just from leaving kids in hot cars but understanding the dangers of leaving that car unlock in the middle of July in Florida,” said House Representative Michelle Salzman, R-Pensacola, one of the many lawmakers who supported the measure.

Under the legislation, state and local leaders will partnering up in a statewide initiative to educate the public about the dangers and penalties associated with leaving kids unattended in cars.

The new law is called the "Ariya's Act"
It’s named after 10-month-old Ariya Paige from Baker County. She died last July after her babysitter left her in a hot car for five hours.

State Sen. Robert Brannan, R-Lake City, says Ariya’s family pushed for this law, to help save other children.

"They have one goal and that is to ensure that this never happens again to another precious little child," said Brannan. "In fact, in Florida this past year, seven children have died due to heat stroke after being left in hot cars.”

During the month of April, several state agencies like the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor, will be holding events to teach parents and adults in Florida what to do in the event a child needs rescuing from a vehicle.

The bill takes effect on July 1, 2024.

Adrian Andrews is a multimedia journalist with WFSU Public Media. He is a Gadsden County native and a first-generation college graduate from Florida A&M University. Adrian is also a military veteran, ending his career as a Florida Army National Guard Non-Comissioned Officer.

Adrian has experience in print writing, digital content creation, documentary, and film production. He has spent the last four years on the staff of several award-winning publications such as The Famuan, Gadsden County News Corp, and Cumulus Media before joining the WFSU news team.