LOUISIANA (KPLC) - On August 1, over 400 news laws were put into effect in the state. One of them being the "Good Samaritan Law" which gives some protection to the people who attempt to save a child or pet left in a vehicle.
The heartache of a life lost after being left in a car is an all too common occurrence. According to the National Safety Council, on average, about 37 children die every year from this preventable situation.
"If somebody sees a child in a car or a pet and they feel like it's in danger and they need to rescue it, this gives them some protection," says Sheriff Tony Mancuso with the Calcaiseu Parish Sheriff's Office.
The new law is state-wide and protects people from the liability of damage done to a vehicle during a high stakes situation, but before you break into the car, the conditions of this new law are that the life inside the car must be in immediate danger.
Also, there has to be no other way to access the vehicle, meaning all of the doors are locked. Then you must call out for the owner of the vehicle before calling law enforcement. If you bring the child or pet into a store to cool off, you must leave a note saying they are safe with a contact number to reach you.
Mancuso says, "They can't just break the window and take the child and put it to safety. There are some things that you have to do to abide by the law too."
But as Mancuso says, there is a moral obligation in these situations. "Even if this law wasn't in effect, I think us as a society have to do this. We have a responsibility and an obligation to help somebody in their need."