An infant died on Monday after being left behind in a car for several hours by a
parent, the second such incident in 24 hours.
The father of the
two-yearold girl was attending a business meeting in the settlement of Dolev,
where the family lives. He also runs an educational institution there.
realized his mistake only when his wife called at around 1 p.m. to tell him that
she was at the daycare center to pick up the couple’s other child and noticed
that their two-year-old had never arrived.
The father, in a panic, raced
to the car, where he found the infant in critical condition.
were called to the scene and evacuated her to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in
Tzrifin while trying to revive her. Hospital doctors pronounced her dead upon
Emanuel Stern, one of the Magen David Adom paramedics who
responded, said that when they arrived the child was unconscious and not
breathing. There was no sign of a pulse and showed symptoms of heat
Officer Avi Hazen of the Modi’in Illit police station said the
authorities did not yet know whether they would open an investigation into the
father’s conduct, saying that at the moment they had decided to let the family
be alone in its sorrow.
“This is a tragic incident that can’t be
expressed in words,” Hazen said. “We ask everyone to pay more attention to their
kids, for everyone to pay attention and if a child doesn’t show up at daycare,
to call the parents.”
Idit Gotlieb, a spokeswoman for the settlement,
described the parents and children as a “very well-known, normative family that
had lived in the community for many years.”
Only a day earlier, not far
from Dolev, a five-month-old baby’s life was cut short when left in a car for
seven hours in the settlement of Shilo.
According to police, that infant
had also been left in the car by the father. On July 1, a nine-month-old baby
died in Ramat Gan when her father left her in the family vehicle for eight
MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Yisrael Beytenu), head of the children’s
rights caucus in the Knesset, called on the Transportation Ministry to require
the installation of preventive devices in cars in order to keep additional cases
from happening. Levy-Abecassis also presented a bill to the Knesset last week
that would require daycare workers to call parents in the event that their
children do not arrive.
During a meeting of the caucus two months ago,
figures were presented indicating that in 2012 there had been 50 cases of
children left behind in cars. Ten were infants, two of whom died.
that meeting, Levy- Abecassis called for the caucus to prepare a bill to
consider such infant deaths as traffic accidents in order to encourage insurance
companies to demand that preventive devices be installed in cars.
devices can cost around NIS 1,000, the caucus said in a press release on Monday. They require the
driver to circle the car, checking each door, before leaving.
Elharar (Yesh Atid) echoed Levy-Abecassis’s sentiments, noting that she planned
to work with her colleague to promote the new bill.
cannot continue even one minute,” Elharar said.
Likewise on Monday,
Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
jointly stressed the importance of promoting such technology in order to prevent
parental forgetfulness and neglect. The two decided that the new system would be
included as part of the tax benefits and incentives currently provided for
vehicle safety system installations, and Netanyahu ordered the necessary budget
Two weeks ago, according to Katz, the Transportation Ministry
turned to the Israel Standards Institute to formulate guidelines for an
electronic system that would alert parents that a child was still in the
Following the latest tragedies, the minister ordered his staff
to speed up the process so that installation could begin as soon as
Katz also said the ministry planned to make the system
mandatory for all vehicles carrying school children, and for the issuance of all
licenses to transport these children.
An additional standard is also
currently in the works that would require bus drivers to perform a comprehensive
sweep of their vehicles before concluding their journeys and locking the bus
Katz instructed all fleet managers and traffic safety officers to
refine their safety rules and include the issue of children being left behind,
stressing that the subject should also be integrated into theoretical driving
Meanwhile, in coordination with the Transportation Ministry, the
National Road Safety Authority will launch in the coming days an extensive
campaign to increase awareness among parents and the general public about the
issue of neglecting children in vehicles, the ministry said.