June 2, 2003

Legislative Bill 129: Unattended Children in Motor Vehicles

Senator DiAnna Schimek (District 27)

Nebraska law defines "child neglect" to include leaving a child six years of age or younger unattended in a motor vehicle. LB 129 would add a minimum fine of $100 for leaving a child unattended in a car.

This bill was read for the first time on January 10, 2003, and referred to the Judiciary Committee on January 13. The committee discussed LB 129 on February 27, 2003, but has not yet taken any official action on the bill.

Action Requested
Contact members of the Judiciary Committee to let them know your position on this bill.

Judiciary Committee members:

Kermit Brashear, Chairperson(402) 471-2621
Dwite Pedersen, Vice Chairperson(402) 471-2885
Ernie Chambers(402) 471-2612
Mike Foley(402) 471-2734
Mick Mines(402) 471-2618
Ray Mossey(402) 471-2627
Mark Quandahl(402) 471-2327
Gene Tyson(402) 471-2929

HSLDA's Position:
Since Nebraska already prohibits parents from leaving a child under the age of six alone in a car, this legislation has limited impact. It helps parents by defining more precisely what "unattended" means (a child is not "unattended" if there is another child over the age of 12 in the car, or if the parent has "the direct ability to care for or come to the aid of the child.") These are small improvements over current law. Unfortunately, by adding a fine of $100 or more, the bill makes it easier to punish parents who leave a child in a car with a mature 10 year old.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History

01/21/03 Unattended Children in Motor Vehicles Law Proposed