Terry Bartley of North Carolina was so moved by the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris he decided to sit in a hot car on a summer day — and record a video of the experiment.
With sweat pouring down his face, he looks into the camera and says:
“I wanna know how it feels to be out in the car and sitting in the back seat, strapped into a car seat with the windows up and doors probably locked” he says. “I’m sweating. Like I can barely breathe out here.”
The father of 4, 7 and 14 said he wanted to raise awareness about what it’s like in a hot car and how quickly being inside a hot car with the windows rolled up can turn dangerous.
You can check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuCtadNRAeA
Justin Ross Harris, father of Cooper is charged with murder and second-degree child cruelty, and remains behind bars. Police say Harris left Cooper, strapped into a car seat under a baking sun for seven hours while he went to work. Harris maintains it was accident.
Terry’s video has gone viral with more than 1 million views and has inspired others to take the hot car challenge, with others posting videos — some with their pets!
At least 44 children died from child vehicular heatstroke in 2013, according to kidsandcars.org.
But do these efforts, however well-intentioned make a difference? Or are they just dangerous?
Meanwhile, the “hot car” death of toddler Cooper in Cobb County (among others) has resulted in an online White House petition pushed by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, KidsAndCars.org, and a few other groups.
Per Obama administration policy, they’ll need 100,000 signatures by Aug. 13 to elicit a response from the White House. They’ve got 404 as of yesterday afternoon. The demands of the petition:
• Provide funding for research and development of innovative technology.
• Identify, evaluate and test new technology to accelerate implementation of the most feasible and effective solutions.
• Require installation of technology in all vehicles and/or child safety seats to prevent children from being left alone left alone in vehicles.
What do you think of these latest developments?