Leaving child unattended in motor vehicle.
Tennessee Code 55-10-803. Offense of leaving child unattended in motor vehicle.
(a) It is an offense for a person responsible for a child younger than seven (7) years of age to knowingly leave that child in a motor vehicle located on public property or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, or any apartment house complex, or any other premises that is generally frequented by the public at large without being supervised in the motor vehicle by a person who is at least thirteen (13) years of age, if:
(1) The conditions present a risk to the child’s health or safety;
(2) The engine of the motor vehicle is running; or
(3) The keys to the motor vehicle are located anywhere inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for the first offense.
(c) A second or subsequent violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500).
The summer months are approaching again and this is a subject that cannot be discussed too many times because PEOPLE STILL LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN IN VEHICLES – UNATTENDED. It is hard to believe but there are ONLY 19 states that have a law regarding leaving children unattended in a vehicle – Tennessee is one of those states.
Then Tennessee went a step further and passed a bill that states “as long as a person has discovered a child locked in a car and has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the minor is in imminent danger of suffering harm”, they may break the window to rescue the minor, using “no more force than necessary.”
So please keep your babies safe this summer and/or if you see a baby in an unsafe condition you are free from legal repercussions to help the child.