Keep keys close

    RACQ is warning motorists to never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle and to always keep keys close by.

    The latest figures from Queensland’s largest roadside assistance fleet revealed RACQ patrols responded to 82 Lock-ins at Fraser Coast, Gympie this year.

    RACQ Chief Executive Assistance Glenn Toms said patrols responded to lock-ins with the highest priority, as the situation could quickly become life-threatening.

    “Concerningly, we have rescued 1,518 children and 796 animals that were locked in vehicles throughout the year,” Mr Toms said.

    “The temperature inside a vehicle can quickly reach dangerous levels, even if you are parked in the shade or it doesn’t feel like a particularly hot day.

    “According to RACQ research, the temperature inside a typical car parked outside can increase by 10 degrees within just 10 minutes.”

    The warning comes as some modern vehicles have introduced new technology and features such as ‘Dog Mode’, which may entice motorists to leave animals alone in the car.

    “Some modern vehicles have new technology allowing the owner to put the vehicle into ‘Dog Mode’, which keeps the cabin at a set temperature, gives access to the internal camera and even puts a message up on the central touchscreen reading ‘My owner will be back soon’,” Mr Toms said.

    “Despite advances in technology, you should never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle, as there is no guarantee of their safety.

    “If a person or animal is locked in a vehicle, please call RACQ roadside assistance on 13 11 11.

    “If you’re concerned about the health of a child, call emergency services immediately.”