Juan Rodriguez and his wife

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Lawmaker Proposes Detection Devices For Backseats After Hot Car Deaths

August 03, 2019 - 6:20 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In the wake of the deaths of twin infants left in a hot car in the Bronx last week, state and local lawmakers say it’s time for cars to have more lifesaving technology.

Juan Rodriguez, the father of the twin 1-year-olds, lives in New City, a part of Rockland County represented by Democratic state Sen. David Carlucci.

On Friday, Carlucci introduced the “Heatstroke Elimination Awareness Technology Act,” a state bill that seeks to prevent these types of deaths. Rodriguez’s children had been left in the car for eight hours on a 90-degree day. He says it was a tragic mistake.

“Oh my God. I love them so much. I can’t believe it,” he said during their funeral service in Yonkers on Friday, according to the New York Post.

Rodriguez was charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. The Bronx district attorney has yet to present the case against him.

The senator told WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg that parents like Rodriguez aren’t to blame when their kids are left to die in hot cars.

“We have to blame the auto manufacturers because this technology exists now. And they’re not moving quick enough to implement it,” Carlucci said.

The technology he’s talking about is motion sensors that alert drivers to something or someone in their backseat.

Carlucci says some car makers like Nissan and Subaru have already installed it in some of their models. He says the federal government is moving too slow in implementing the technology.

His legislation would require cars built after July 1, 2021, to have the technology.