SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - A new law just went into effect that could save children’s lives. In Missouri, it’s now legal to break a car window to save a child who is trapped in a car.
According to the amended law, “A person shall be not be held civilly liable for damages resulting from the forcible entry into a vehicle for the purpose of removing an unsupervised minor.”
However, under the new law there are a couple things you must do before you break that window. First, you need to make sure all the doors are locked and there isn’t an easier way in. Then, call 911 to let first responders know there’s a kid trapped in a hot car.
While you’re calling for help, find something to break the window. They’re more durable than many people think.
We went to Bayless Auto Salvage to learn the best way to break a car window.
“I wouldn't hit it in the middle, because it won’t break. But I’d hit it on the edge,” said Brian Cooper, who works at the salvage yard.
It took him a few tries to break the window with a hammer. It turns out you have to put some muscle into it, unless you buy a tool specifically made for shattering car windows.
There’s a tool that’s designed to save your life if you’re stuck inside your car while it’s sinking in water. You can also use the tool to break glass from the outside. We found it at a hardware store for $15.
If you don’t have any tools available, Cooper says you should find a rock or brick and break the window that’s on the opposite side of the car as the child.
“I would do it in a heartbeat. If my son can be out here not even an hour, playing and sweating like he is, I couldn’t imagine a child being in a hot car like that,” said mother Courtney Ruble of Springfield.
Ruble says if she saw a kid trapped in a hot car, she would jump into action even, if it meant injuring herself.
“I’d probably wrap a cloth around my hand and bust it out that way,” said Ruble.
Ruble says if a child’s life is at stake, she’s not giving up on breaking a window until that kid is safe.
“Kids are our world. They’re our future so let’s protect them.”
Under the new law, if you break a window to pull a child out of a hot car, you won’t be liable for any damages to the car, but you will need to stay with the child until emergency responders show up.