Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In which I rant and rave...

Ok. People. I have to bitch and groan here, or else I'll actually reach out and smack the people that I see in person committing this crime. And it IS a crime.

There are seatbelts in your car for a reason. It is ILLEGAL for your car to be moving without every person strapped into it. This means Every. Single. Time. You. Drive. It does not exclude the quick trip to school. In fact, it should be especially important that you strap them in on the way to and from school! My van does not leave my parking space or driveway until all of the passengers are buckled. Period. The most accidents that can be preventable injuries are those that occur going under 40 mph. However, if you AREN'T STRAPPED IN, guess what? You will fly forward. Or backward. Through a window, or onto another passenger. And guess what??? These injuries can be really, really serious.

I am sickened every morning and afternoon during school pick ups and drop offs by the number of children that are hopping around in the back and front seats. Little kids! We're talking not only 10 and under but also 5 and under! Not only should those little ones be in seats with belts, but in CAR SEATS or boosters!

I see moms opening up the back of mini-vans and letting a good 10 kids out of the back. THE BACK. Where there aren't even seats to begin with! I live in a middle-class, educated, family-oriented neighborhood. We're talking about people that not only "should" know better, but DO know better. I understand their mentality... I DO. They are looking at the 4 minute ride to school and the hassle of strapping kids in that don't want to go with big brothers and sisters out into the freezing cold. It's early or it's naptime, kids are grumpy, mom is frazzled, it seems like no big deal to just do it every once in a while.

Well. It's a huge deal. Not only for your innocent children, but for every other driver on the road who may end up crushing you when a dog runs into the road and hitting you at 25 mph while you're going 25 mph from the opposite direction. That other driver may have to live with the knowledge that, while not their fault, they were involved in the death or disfigurement of somebody's babies.

It takes 30 seconds to get everyone buckled. And if they're throwing a fit and it takes 10 minutes? Well, I guess you're going to be late. But at least you'll be alive when you get there.

21 comments:

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

OOOh! this made me remember what else happened this morning! I watched a mom hop out of the backseat of her car holding her newborn in her arms instead of putting her in a carseat. I was so pissed off! I wanted to scream at her. Why not just buckle them in? It is so easy! And even when it is difficult, (I know all about this as I often have to wrestle my homebody 4 year old into his carseat as he kicks me and screams and arches his back)even then, it is so worth to arrive alive.

Type (little) a said...

AMEN!

During my MIL's funeral, my SIL brought my 2 year old and VERY tiny niece to the funeral home in the limo with us, where someone was waiting to pick her up.

They decided to skip the carseat. Guess who didn't have a carseat when the babysitter picked her up?

Family Adventure said...

Amen!

Heidi

familymclean said...

Great rant, I too am completely irked when I see this, and I am irked by all the moms who keep the handle up on baby seats. it was illegal in AB and a 200$ fine and here in SK it is only frowned upon.
It is so dangerouse, even if the child is bukeled in if you are in an accident the handle will snap and stab the child, hello, it only takes a minute!

Melissa said...

I had a friend who used to run errands with her little girl in her lap. GRRR!!

Kathryn said...

I used to work in the drive thru at a bank and you wouldn't believe how many toddlers I used to see running around in the cars. It is INSANE! It drove me nuts. After a while I would actually say to the child, "Honey, you'd better sit down and put that seat belt on so you can be safe!", so that the parents would hear me and hopefully GET A CLUE!

Amy said...

so true!

Tonya said...

You so hit a nerve with me! I absolutely HATE to see kids not buckled in. One day we picked up our son and as we were driving a little girl about the same age as him was in the car next to us not in a booster or buckled in. We asked him if he knew her and she happened to be in his class. My husband told Breckin that he should tell her to buckle in and that her dad should to because if they get in an accident they will get hurt. You know what he told her that the next day. I was so proud of him. But it went over her head as her parents don't buckle in or care if she does. I could go on but I'll stop now.

Hannah said...

Perfectly said. I agree, 100%!

Cheryl said...

So true. I'd love to nurse my baby while my husband drives... but the convenience is definitely not worth the risk. We've pulled over into a gas station parking lot many, many times to nurse the baby.

As for toddlers? Not only is it not safe for the child, it's also a distraction for the driver, and that's so dangerous for other people on the road.

Kristi said...

Great post, and so important. Like you, I get the motivation, but when you consider the consequences, I don't know how anyone can choose to not strap their kids in.

Kami said...

I am so with you this. It drives me nuts when I see children loose in a vehicle.

I can't even believe people take the risk EVER nevermind daily.

GRRRR.

Kami said...

Oh and Anna reminded me of the handle on the infant carriers. I scream at parents from inside my car... PUT THE HANDLE DOWN!

Maybe they hear me, maybe they don't. I feel better though ;-)

Stacey said...

AMEN! I hate this. I don't understand why people do it either...of course, we have the battle that all of my sons friends don't use booster seats, why do they have to when they're in my car--because it's the way to be safe. It doesn't matter than that's not the way it used to be, we know better now, let's use that hard-earned knowledge and get smart (and safe!)

Beck said...

YES. I KNOW. My mother-in-law is not allowed to babysit because she's casual about carseats. Not my kids, buddy.

Rebecca said...

Thank you. This is one thing that scares the daylights out of me. I have a 30 min drive to and from work every day and I couldn't tell you the number of kids I have seen bouncing around in cars. I wonder if there is a hotline number or something you can call when you see that? SOMEone has to protect these babies!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

I agree with you 1000% on this, Tracey!

Lizzy

painted maypole said...

oy. this gets me, too. MQ is the self appointed seat belt police in our car. She says "I'm not ready!!!" if hers isn't done, and she'll say "Daddy's not read!" or "Oma's not ready!" or whoever doesn't have their seatbelt on. The car CAN NOT MOVE if the belts aren't done (as a child I thought the car literally COULD NOT move if we weren't buckled up). I love this about her.

i have a friend who allows her children to unbuckle when they get into the neighborhood. Which just clearly teaches the children that seatbelts are a hassle that you should want to free yourself from at the earliest opportunity. ack.

Christina said...

Totally agree with you.

Our idiot neighbors right now only have a small pickup truck, and 4 kids. Which means they can't all go somewhere without two of the kids sitting in the back of the truck. In the winter in Ohio. Insane.

Michelle said...

wow I can't believe this is such a big problem in your area, or the school drop off area! I would be upset and frustrated too!

Elle*Bee said...

I know I'm late to reply, but you really hit on my pet peeve. My neighbor, otherwise a seemingly responsible parent, is guilty of this. Her rationale is that their cousins house is only a few blocks away. But she's the same one at the bus stop complaining along with me about how fast people drive in our neighborhood (all together now: 2+2 = get a clue, woman!). Sorry for the rant, but I so agree with you.

Back in the 90's in Virginia, there was a non-profit (I think) group that would provide postcards - I picked them up from my pediatrician's office. The way it was supposed to work is if I observed someone with an unbuckled kid in their car, I'd jot the date, time, general location, license no., on the post card and mail it to the non-profit group. They would search public records for the vehicle owner (not necessarily the driver, tho'), and mail literature about car seat safety and accident stats to the owner, along with a "on such and such date, at the intersection of A & B street, your car was observed...". Very Big Brother-ish. I don't know if it worked, but it was probably more effective than my yelling, "buckle your child, dumb@$$!"

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