A bill sponsored by Tennessee State Sen. Tim Barnes and Tennessee State Rep. Joe Pitts to protect renters of recreation vehicles from carbon monoxide poisoning passed both the House and Senate on Monday.
“This legislation comes too late for those who have lost their loved ones, but with the help of their family members, we can ensure that such a tragedy never happens again,” Barnes said.
Clarksville Online reported that 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 a tragic incident in Clarksville last year in which five people were killed from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning during a charity event.
Clarksville Police found the victims in an RV with a generator near a vent and all the windows and doors shut. All five had fatal amounts of carbon monoxide in their blood.
Christine and Ed Watson, whose daughter and husband were killed, came to Pitts and Barnes with the legislation. The bill requires all lease or rental agreements to contain as statement acknowledging that the vehicle is equipped with a working detector.
Under the bill, companies can be held liable for violating the requirement.
“The Watsons have worked tirelessly to educate both lawmakers and the public about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to prevent such a terrible heartbreak from happening to other Tennesseans,” Pitts said. “In our eyes, Christine and Ed Watson are heroes.”
The legislation now goes to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.