Gambling Parents Forget Children In Car

This topic has gained extensive momentum the last couple of weeks.  The question everybody is asking whether or not car manufacturers should install forgotten child car alarms, since a number of parents who gambled at land-based casinos forgot their children in their vehicles, which resulted in unnecessary child mortalities.  Most parents agree that added safety technology to their vehicles is a bonus; however, Pennsylvania lawmakers want to take matters into their own hands.  They want to introduce a bill that charges parents with neglect, those who leave their children in unsupervised vehicles with a third-degree felony.

Sen. Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks County, and Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bensalem, are sponsoring the legislation and it will be presented to their respective chambers according to the Daily American, adults caught abandoning children in a car currently face misdemeanour charges; should the new law take effect a third-degree felony conviction can result in 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The punch line is that the proposed legislation caters to hasty parents who’ve left their children locked in the parking lot at the Parx Casino in Bensalem and gambled for hours on end and completely forgot that their children were unattended.    June 15 and Aug. 25, saw six parents left 12 children and a puppy unattended in cars in Parx’s sprawling parking lots,” according to the Philadelphia Daily News.  Children’s average age ranged from 15 months to 15 years old and were left unsupervised from a half-hour to six hours

Law enforcement officials will use their discretion whilst handing out tickets for this type of offense, to avoid locking up innocent parents just handing in their books at the library, while children wait 30 seconds in the car.  The reason why the new legislation is implemented it specifically targets those parents who have a history of alcohol, gambling abuse or various other addictions and which might even enable them to join recovery programs.

State Rep. Carl Walker, R-Allegheny Township, is a bit more pessimistic about this new legislation.  He says, “You can’t legislate common sense for people who are going to a casino and letting their kids sit in a car.”  That’s true.  I’m not sure letting kids sit in a car should be a felony, but there seems to be a real need to make families in Bensalem understand that parenting is more important than gambling.  The Philadelphia Daily News reports that “the state Gaming Control Board last month told the casino to address the problem” and “Parx officials reported they have banned the offending parents and beefed up the casinos parking lot patrols.”

Gambling is addictive and commercial gambling is outlawed in many states.  Cleaver is right to assume that drinking and gambling go hand in hand; if he really wants to assist troubled people he should visit the casino.  Another alternative is to prohibit minors under the age of 18 years to be on casino property-in short this will solve the problem.



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