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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs Carbon Monoxide Protection Bill sponsored by Montgomery County Delegation

 

New law requires Recreational Vehicles (RVs) to have working Carbon Monoxide detectors

The Seal of the State of TennesseeNashville, TN – Senator Tim Barnes, Representative Joe Pitts and Representative John Tidwell attended Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Wednesday signing ceremony of their bill to protect renters of recreation vehicles from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“This law will provide a new level of safety for our citizens and visitors, so that we might prevent tragedies like the one that prompted this bill,” Pitts said.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs Senate Bill 2357 into law as (from left to right) State Representative Joe Pitts, State Senator Tim Barnes and Representative John Tidwell look on. Family members of victims of RV carbon monoxide poisoning joined the Governor and lawmakers for the ceremony.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs Senate Bill 2357 into law as (from left to right) State Representative Joe Pitts, State Senator Tim Barnes and Representative John Tidwell look on. Family members of victims of RV carbon monoxide poisoning joined the Governor and lawmakers for the ceremony.

The new law ( Senate Bill 2357/House Bill 2734) requires all lease or rental recreational vehicles in Tennessee to have working carbon monoxide detectors. The bill was brought to the state legislature after five people were killed from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning during a charity event in Clarksville last year.

On hand at Wednesday’s bill signing ceremony were several family members of the five victims, including Christine and Ed Watson, whose daughter and son-in-law were killed. The Watsons brought the idea for the legislation to Barnes and Pitts shortly after the incident.

“It’s a bittersweet day, but at least we know other families will be safe,” Christine Watson said. “Thanks to the support of Senator Barnes and Representative Pitts, we can help protect others from this deadly danger.”

The bill requires all lease or rental agreements to contain a statement acknowledging that the vehicle is equipped with a working detector. Under the bill, companies can be held liable for violating the requirement.

The delegation, including Barnes, Pitts, Tidwell and Representative Curtis Johnson, expressed hope that other states would adopt a version of Tennessee’s law, which is the first of its kind in the nation.

“We want to see this bill passed on a federal level, so that nobody has to go through the pain and grief that these families have,” Barnes said. “Tennessee has set the example that we hope others will follow.”


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