A San Antonian —who undoubtedly knows from experience how unforgiving Texas heat can be— has created an invention that would detect a person or pet locked in hot car and automatically alert authorities.
David Larry Medina invented a three-part alarm system that would use sound, movement, or pulse to detect a person or pet locked in a hot car. The contraption, which is patented, includes a built-in microphone, motion detector and an EKG monitor.
The system would automatically lower all windows, sound a siren saying “baby left in hot car,” and enable an exterior strobe light as soon as the car temperature reaches a dangerous level, according to the patent. The system would also automatically alert first responders and family members, whose phone numbers can be programmed into the system.
Medina created the invention to “possibly save a life of a child, senior citizen, or pet," he wrote in his patent. Medina’s system is not yet available to automakers, according to News 4 San Antonio.
Texas has the highest number in the country of child heatstroke deaths: From 1998 to 2016, 107 children in Texas have died as a result of being left in hot cars, according to noheatstroke.org.
In June, two toddlers died in Kerr County, after being left alone in a car for 15 hours overnight.
Texas lawmakers have also taken action to eliminate child deaths resulting from kids being left in hot cars: House Bill 478, which went into effect in September, allows a person to break into a stranger’s car by any means necessary if there is a child left inside, as long as they call 911 first.
The feds are also getting involved. Earlier this month, lawmakers also advanced a bill through the House of Representatives that would require vehicles to have an alarm system alerting drivers to check their backseat as soon as they turn their cars off.