A car drives down Main Street in downtown Rockland on Sept. 7, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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Every year, tragic, avoidable incidents occur when children and pets are unintentionally left in hot vehicles. To combat this, I propose the implementation of automated vehicle technology to lower windows when high internal temperatures and movement are detected.

Utilizing temperature, motion, infrared or capacitive sensors, the system could lower windows when the inside of a vehicle surpasses a set temperature, like 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and if the presence of a living being is detected. This technology would distinguish between a child or pet and mere objects, and employ fail safes for situations like rain or car washes.

While considering privacy and security, solutions such as partially rolling down the windows could be explored to balance safety and security. This proposed technology complements existing measures such as rear seat reminders, but takes a more proactive role in safeguarding the vehicle’s occupants.

I urge car manufacturers and legislators to seriously consider this technology. Coupled with continued education and awareness, we can reduce, and hopefully eliminate, these preventable tragedies.

Dan Johnson