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Appendix B
Unattended Vehicles Statutes

Ten States have laws prohibiting adults from leaving unattended children in motor vehicles. Two States have laws specifically related to injury or death caused by leaving a child in a vehicle. Thrity-Eight States have no laws specifically protecting children from this vehicle occupancy neglect. Legislators have proposed bills addressing this issue in twelve of these States. Existing State statutes are listed found below:


Cal. Veh. Code § 15620 (2004)
Leaving a child unattended inside a motor vehicle prohibited

(a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:

  1. Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety.
  2. When the vehicle’s engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both.

(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred
dollars ($100)