Unattended Child in Motor Vehicle
CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE SECTIONS
15620, 15630, 15632
15620. (a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible
for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child
inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a
person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the
(1) Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to
the child's health or safety.
(2) When the vehicle's engine is running or the vehicle's keys are
in the ignition, or both.
(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction punishable by
a fine of one hundred dollars ($100), except that the court may
reduce or waive the fine if the defendant establishes to the
satisfaction of the court that he or she is economically
disadvantaged and the court, instead, refers the defendant to a
community education program that includes education on the dangers of
leaving young children unattended in motor vehicles, and provides
certification of completion of that program. Upon completion of that
program, the defendant shall provide that certification to the
court. The court may, at its discretion, require any defendant
described in this section to attend an education program on the
dangers of leaving young children unattended in motor vehicles.
(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both
this section and Section 192 of the Penal Code, or Section 273a of
that code, or any other provision of law.
(d) (1) Subdivision (b) and Section 40000.1 do not apply if an
unattended child is injured or medical services are rendered on that
child because of a violation described in subdivision (a).
(2) Nothing in this subdivision precludes prosecution under any
other provision of law.
15630. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the fines
collected for a violation of this division shall be allocated by the
county treasurer, as follows:
(a) (1) Seventy percent to the county or city health department
where the violation occurred, to be used for the development and
implementation of community education programs on the dangers of
leaving young children unattended in motor vehicles.
(2) A county or city health department may develop and implement
the community education program described in paragraph (1) or may
contract for the development and implementation of that program.
(3) As the proceeds from fines collected under this division
become available, each county or city health department shall prepare
and annually update a listing of community education programs that
provide information on the dangers of leaving young children
unattended in motor vehicles and ways to avoid that danger. The
county or city health department shall forward the listing to the
courts and shall make the listing available to the public, and may
distribute it to other agencies or organizations.
(b) Fifteen percent to the county or city for the administration
of the program, from which will be paid the cost of the county to
account for and disburse fine revenues.
(c) Fifteen percent to the city, to be deposited in its general
fund except that, if the violation occurred in an unincorporated
area, this amount shall be deposited in the county's general fund.
15632. (a) The department shall include information concerning the
dangers of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles, including,
but not limited to, the effect of solar heat on the temperature of
vehicle interiors and the penalties for noncompliance with Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 15620), in the following materials
distributed by the department:
(1) The California Driver's Handbook published under subdivision
(b) of Section 1656.
(2) The driver's license examination administered under Section
12804.9, by including, on a rotating basis, at least one question in
one version of the driver's license examination that is periodically
administered to applicants.
(3) Any driver's education materials certified by the department.
(4) Courses and examinations for traffic violator schools.
(5) Materials provided to secondary and post-secondary schools and
(6) Any materials provided to community education campaigns
undertaken by the department and other state agencies, including, but
not limited to, the Department of the California Highway Patrol and
the Department of Transportation.
(b) The department shall not republish materials before existing
supplies are exhausted, but shall arrange for compliance with this
section in the next edition or publication of those materials in the
normal course of business.