The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw leaving children younger than 8 in a car alone, Lenore Skenazy reports at her Free Range Kids blog. Ms. Skenazy, a former colleague of mine at the New York Sun, calls the proposed law "overprotective" and "unnecessary" and observes:
The problem is that what I consider a "significant risk" may be quite different from what the authorities consider a "significant risk." So even if I think my 7-year-old can wait in the car, reading a comic book, while I go in to buy stamps, someone else with a badge or gavel might consider that treacherous.
The comments string on her site is also worth a look.
The Queens Chronicle also has a good, skeptical story.