LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A national effort has been launched to help prevent accidents involving children being left in hot cars.
KidsandCars.org on Monday filed a petition on the White House's "We the People" site. The goal is to push the Obama administration to offer the Department of Transportation more money so that researchers can come up with innovative ways and new technology to help parents remember that their young children are in the backseat of the car.
The group says that in the last 20 years, more than 670 children in the U.S. have died due to heat-related deaths in cars. There have been 17 reported deaths this year alone in the U.S., according to the group.
KidsandCars.org cited David Diamond, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida who studies the brain and memory, as saying that these accidents can be committed by "normal, attentive and loving parents."
"Many of these parents had believed that they could never forget their children, until their children died," Diamond was quoted as saying. "Scientific studies confirm that you can't assume your memory will never fail, and the consequences of a memory failure can be tragic."
KidsandCars.org says it needs 100,000 signatures on its petition by Aug. 13.
"We believe the public wants action now," said Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org. "These deaths are happening too frequently in communities across the country and the petition will ensure White House attention and a response."