Utah passes controversial 'free range parenting' law

Utah is now the first state to pass a law allowing children to participate in activities without any adult supervision.

The so-called “free range parenting” law allows kids to do things like play outside, ride their bike, or take a walk alone without parents facing any neglect charges.

According to USAToday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the measure into law last week. 

In a statement the Governor said, “Absence evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children.”

Related: Utah monuments 

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An old barn stands in a residential yard in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Hundreds of petroglyphs cover Newspaper Rock, in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Comb Wash cuts from north to south through Cedar Mesa in Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
A creek runs through Arch Canyon in Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
A man walks over a natural bridge at Butler Wash in Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
A sign advertises Natural Bridges National Monument on the way into Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Rock climber David Rozul makes an ascent in Indian Creek, an area that attracts outdoor recreationists from around the world to Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Trick-or-treaters pose for a photograph in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
A sign showing support for Bears Ears National Monument is seen in a front yard in Bluff, Utah, U.S., October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Kinley Wojcik looks at her phone as she works behind the counter at Higher Grounds Coffee and Soda, the only dedicated coffee shop in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
A vehicle displays a sticker opposing the Bears Ears National Monument in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
An all-terrain vehicle stands covered up in a front yard in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Tewa Martin and Sylas Burbank, both from Montezuma Creek, sit on a truck before riding in the Bluff Navajo Fair parade in Bluff, Utah, U.S., October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
The moon glows over Indian Creek in the northern portion of Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Trick-or-treaters ride horses through the streets in Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Ranchers close a gate after collecting cattle near Monticello, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen S
Albert Cly, Jr. poses for a photograph outside his home in Westwater, a small Native American community near Blanding, Utah, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Oil pumpjacks are seen near Aneth, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
Elvira Begay fixes her float before the Bluff Navajo Fair parade in Bluff, Utah, U.S., October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen 
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No age limit was defined for what age a child should be allowed to go unsupervised.  The Hill reports that the law will prevent authorities from investigating parents when they use their own judgment.

The new law takes effect on May 8th.

Despite support in Utah, the bill remains controversial. According to The Independent, Arkansas drafted a similar law and it failed after critics suggested it presents dangers to children.

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