New Florida law mandates alarms for daycare vans

ORLANDO, Fla. — After five years, Florida finally mandates alarms for daycare vans.

In 2017, 3-year old Myles Hill was left in a daycare van for almost 12 hours. By the time anyone at the Orlando area daycare facility noticed he was missing, he had passed away. In the wake of his death, Orlando lawmakers began pushing for changes, requiring an alarm system be installed in vans to force drivers to check for kids after they park.

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For 5 years the calls for change went nowhere in Tallahassee, until this year.

“We have worked very hard to get to this point,” said Senator Linda Stewart (D - Orlando).

Stewart’s bill (SB 252) finally passed the legislature this year and on Tuesday was signed into law.

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The new law, which partially takes effect on Oct. 1, changes standards for the transportation of children at the 1,566 licensed childcare facilities across the state. More importantly, it gives facilities until Jan. 1, 2022, to install an alarm system in any vehicle used to transport children.

“The summer is here and I am hopeful that we can get through it without any children getting hurt or killed,” said Stewart. “But this will, hopefully, be the final summer without these protections in place.”

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“These systems are super easy to install,” said Chase Gregory of Next Level Car Audio in Orlando. “Some cars come with them, but if not they’re easy to put in and don’t cost a lot.”

The electronic systems prompt the driver to check the vehicle and can cost as little as $230 per vehicle with installation.

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