9/11/2004 An URGENT APPEAL to the worldwide public from Charles "Locksmith Charley" Eastwood.
This past week a (probably very busy and/or distracted) mother in Phoenix AZ "forgot" to drop her child off at the daycare or babysitter and only after receiving a phone call did she suddenly remember that the child was still in her vehicle. Within the next 48 hours the child was DEAD due to the extreme temperature within the vehicle. (*note* in Arizona the extreme would be toward HOT - in other areas of the country the extreme can be VERY COLD). The subject of this article would PROTECT infants and children in either extreme.
I am not making any judgment as to guilt or innocence of that mother nor any of the many parents that have had similar tragic circumstances occur in their lives over the past several years. There have been situations ranging from the simple "I forgot" to the "I went to have a few drinks in the bar.".
I have my own opinions as to both scenarios and am capable of forming an opinion about each of those cases and the cases in between.
Those opinions are not relevant to this article.
As a fallible human being I recognize that despite society's demands of perfection from parents that those same parents are as human as I and are not as perfect as we would desire they be to protect their innocent infant children.
My movement makes no distinction as to the parent's accident or negligence - it is focused ONLY on the safety of children left in vehicles in extreme environments that jeopardize their safety and to point out that the technology available to the automobile manufacturers to see to it that the children are protected exists and needs to be implemented..
While listening to talk radio here in Phoenix, about the above mentioned case, where the speculation is that the temperature in the vehicle reached some 110°F to 140°F which ended up causing the child irreparable injury, I designed the following concept. I would ask that each and every one of you take it upon yourself to IMMEDIATELY WRITE all of your Congressmen and Senators demanding that they immediately pass legislation to save as many children as possible in the future.
I'm not a lawyer or a legislator so I'm not in a position to suggest specific text of such a law, all I can do is to set forth here the specifications that the law should demand.
For years vehicles have been equipped with such things as computer control of headlights that will keep the headlights ON for a certain time period after the engine is shut off so that a driver may have illumination while approaching their residence or business. What I propose is simply an extension of that existing technology.
The system that I designed has the following properties and specifications. I call it the "Vehicle Child Safety Protocol".
The Vehicle Child Safety Protocol would consist of computer monitored circuitry within every vehicle that would monitor 2 things. The first is a simple circuit that would monitor the interior of the vehicle for sounds consistent with the sounds of a child crying or snoring. The second would be a monitor of the interior temperature of the vehicle. The scientists and doctors can tell us the minimum and maximum temperatures that we should be shooting for to accomplish life safety for infants and small children.
The functionality of the system would be defined as follows:
1. The monitor would for 1-2 hours after vehicle shutdown provide an audio monitor of the inside of the vehicle that would be able to detect noises that would be consistent with the crying or snoring noises of a child that might remain inside the vehicle after shutdown.
2. If the monitoring system detects ("hears") sounds originating within the vehicle that are consistent with the crying or snoring noises of a child then the vehicle's computer would trigger an "ALARM" function that would cause the horn to blast, either continuously or at intervals, and flash all of the lights on the vehicle in attempt to gain the attention of passers by that a possible emergency exists within the vehicle.
3. If the monitoring system in an ALARM status
determines that the interior temperature of the vehicle falls above or below
established SAFE temperatures then the system would perform the following:
(A) Engage positive lock of transmission in PARK.
(B) Start the engine
(C) Engage the vehicle's air conditioning or heating system as appropriate
(D) Continue the ALARM honking of horn and flashing of lights.
(E) [for vehicles so equipped] contact ONSTAR with an emergency alert of a "child in life threatening situation" condition.
I know that we have the technology to make this possible and believe that if, as a nation or a world, we fail to utilize existing technology to save infants and small children from harm due to accident or neglect that we are morally bankrupt as a nation / world.
I can understand that the automobile manufacturers will be resistant and that their congressional lobby is formidable but if WE, The American People, rise together in the name of the safety of our infants and children, I am sure that together we can overcome any opposition that the domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers might muster because this simple cause to ensure the safety of infants and children is morally the RIGHT thing to do!
Anyone having input and suggestions on this subject is requested to e-mail me with comments and suggestions.
Thank y'all very much!
Charles "Locksmith Charley" Eastwood