Would the threat of a $200 ticket keep you from leaving your child in your car?

Michelle Struttman thinks so. She’s one of the people behind Kids In Cars, and is advocating for a Missouri law to match the one in Illinois that makes it a misdemeanor to leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle.

She’d like the Missouri law to be stricter than Illinois’, which makes it a crime only if more than 10 minutes have passed. Struttman says there have been too many cases of someone leaving a car running with a kid in the backseat for a few minutes and then having a carjacker take both the vehicle and the child.

I’m not sure that small a fine would be a deterrent, changing the attitude of people who aren’t already concerned about the life of their baby. Some of my callers suggested it would only work if the fine were larger, while others think the whole thing stinks of more nanny state legislation — but there were supporters, too, who say that if it saves one child’s life, then it’s a good thing.

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