New Arkansas Law Passed to Avoid Daycare Deaths

JUNE 8, 2005 - Posted 3:59 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An Arkansas law that requires all daycare transportation vans to have child-safety alarms installed by the end of the year is designed to prevent deaths like that of a three-year-old boy who perished Monday.

State Senator Shane Broadway backed the bill that requires daycare transport vehicles to install child-safety alarms to sound alerts if a child is left in a vehicle.  Broadway, a Democrat from Bryant, says the device would have kept Marcellus Johnson of Little Rock from dying when he was forgotten for an hour in a daycare van.

The alarms cost between $150 and $200.  Drivers would have a minute-and-a-half after they turn off the engine to press a buzzer at the rear of the vehicle, forcing the driver to walk to the rear of the van, thus spotting any children left behind.  If the button is not pressed, an alarm sounds to remind the driver to check for children.

The law goes into effect July 1, so the van in which Monday's death occured was not out of compliance.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)