To Shame or Not To Shame - Kids not in child seats!
  • So yesterday I saw a black SUV in front of me with a small boy in the backseat jumping up and down (presumably from the floorboard). I took a photo of the car's license plate and attempted to catch up to the driver to "remind" them that a child small enough to be able to stand up in a car is probably small enough to NEED to be in a seat by law - not to mention that everyone should always be buckled up! This was during rush hour traffic, on a very busy road. Is there EVER an excuse not to buckle your kids in - and in a seat when required?!?! Should I try to find the driver of the car based on the plate and send them a letter? Or send the info to the cops? 

    Thoughts, ladies and gents? 
  • regpregp
    Posts: 1,445Member
    There's never a reason, IMO. I would not contact the driver directly, unless maybe it was anonymously. 
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  • theprincessmommytheprincessmommy
    Posts: 701Member
    I would send the info to the cops, We are in a pickup truck and things are snug right now with 4 crammed in but everyone is buckled and follows the car rules. There is never an excuse.
  • DemandaDemanda
    Posts: 5,920Member
    I just found out yesterday that my idiot ex-husband has been letting our son ride in the front seat since he's been out of his booster. I will tell him to stop tomorrow when he comes to pick him up, if he ignores me I'm calling the cops. Idiot.
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  • AKimiBAKimiB
    Posts: 1,809Member
    Send it in to the cops. They'll remind them.
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  • Marionettevie
    Posts: 2,729Member
    oh i would be giving it to the cops.... there is never a reason not to be at least buckled up
  • momsaidnomomsaidno
    Posts: 1,796Member
    In my husbands car it has racing seats and there has been times we've put the 2 kids in the back seats w/o car seats because they don't fit. They are 8 and 5. But the was to the store a mile down the road not in rush hour traffic.

  • RedTiger
    Posts: 535Member

    I dont think you should shame the parents because for all we know they may have actually buckled him in and then the child unbuckled himself.  You said this was in rush hour traffic so was there anyway for the parents to pull over and restrap the child in? Although a visit from a police officer might scare the child into staying in his seat if that is the case.

    My son went through a phase when he was younger where he figured out how to unbuckle himself from his carseat and often would going down the road. I've to pull over many times and put him back in his seat.

  • AloneOverseasAloneOverseas
    Posts: 2,312Member
    In NZ you can report the incident online. You provide as much info as you can, plate number, make, model and color of car, time, date and location. The police will then send a letter to the owner with pamphlets on seat belt and car seat laws for a first report. I think if there are more then they more actively pursue things, but I'm not really sure. I have reported a few cars that way.
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  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    I call the cops.. it child endangermentvin washington state..
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  • RuralRebellionRuralRebellion
    Posts: 2,817Member
    Yeah let the cops know.  I used to watch this couple, everytime I picked up DH from his old job.  Depending on the shift rotation, one parent would pull up in front of me, and at 5 to 7, get in the back, put a blanket over their toddler in the car seat, and go in.  At exactly 7:01, the other parent would walk out and get in the car.  They both worked there, on different shifts, and that's what they did with the kid, left them in the car alone for up to 10 minutes.  I'd be sitting there watching the car the entire time, but they were clearly trying to hide the fact that the kid was in there.  Eventually I got so angry I called the cops.  By the time they showed up, they were gone, but I gave them the plate number and they said they would go to their home and talk to them.  After that, they obviously found someone to watch the kid because they would still do the car trade off, but the kid wasn't in the car anymore.

    And I have to admit, we forward faced DD's car seat a couple pounds too early.  But she was buckled in nice and snug.
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  • PrincessPeach
    Posts: 229Member
    I would say no to confronting but yes to letting cops know. At least if law enforcement can talk to the parents they might realize the importance of it.
    When my daughter was a baby her father wouldn't buy her a bigger car seat for his truck. He kept insisting on an infant seat when she was way too big. I took it away from him and my mom gave him hers.
    There is no excuse. There are groups that will inspect the seat if you don't know how to use it and even donate a car seat if you can't afford one.
  • thislittlemommy5thislittlemommy5
    Posts: 167Member
    There should be an actual number to call in your area to report kids not in car seats/seat belts. Try looking it up on the police departments Web site
  • theprincessmommytheprincessmommy
    Posts: 701Member
    I have to let DS4 sit in the front of the pickup truck because there are only little jump seats in the back but he is wearing a lap belt which fits and we have a key thing that turns off the air bags so we have them off for his safety. People are in all situations (like mine with a stupid minivan that is broken) but there is absolutely no excuse for not buckling your child.
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    Go to the cops tell them what you saw and give them the license , I did they kept an eye out on there runs and called me to say thank you they saw what I saw.....



  • Thanks, all, for the advice! I'm going to do some looking and see if I can't get a number to report it to with the local sheriff (we have no PD). 
  • My DD3 has gotten out of her carseat on interstate 80 exactly 1 time. Its the most dangerous part of the interstate and it was during rush hour. I freaked out & yelled at her to get back in her seat & had to wait to pullover to buckle her back up. But I'm sure other drivers saw her. So I do believe it could be possible the kids let him/herself out of the seat. But I def made a huge deal about it & she never did it again. I'm sure in the moment I was a true Scary Mommy!
  • RedTiger said:


    I dont think you should shame the parents because for all we know they may have actually buckled him in and then the child unbuckled himself.  You said this was in rush hour traffic so was there anyway for the parents to pull over and restrap the child in? Although a visit from a police officer might scare the child into staying in his seat if that is the case.


    My son went through a phase when he was younger where he figured out how to unbuckle himself from his carseat and often would going down the road. I've to pull over many times and put him back in his seat.


    I totally agree with this!  We all talk about how we hate it when other moms judge us and how we all need to stop judging without knowing the whole situation. 
  • Tranquil
    Posts: 616Member

    OMG, I would freak if DS3 got himself out of the car seat while I was driving, I would seriously loose it, but I guess that it's a possibility that the kid did that. 


    It doesn't hurt to call the cops though, just to give you peace of mind.

  • shouldcleanshouldclean
    Posts: 2,808Member
    How is it any of your business? Was there a carseat in the car? Maybe they have an escape artist. Who knows but, I would be pissed if some stranger questioned my parenting. Its nice that you are concerned but I would let it go.
  • AloneOverseasAloneOverseas
    Posts: 2,312Member
    If the kid did get out himself, the parents could explain that to the police and take measures to prevent it from happening again. No harm done.

    And what a fright it might give the child to know mommy or daddy could go to jail because little monkey escaped from the car seat! *insert evil laughter*

    And how shit would you feel if you late heard that same vehicle had been in an accident and it was reported the child was unrestrained and either badly injured or worse. Knowing you might have been able to prevent a tragedy could eat away at you. That's the part I think about when making decisions on whether or not to report something ...
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  • GirlsOnly
    Posts: 142Member
    RedTiger said:

    I dont think you should shame the parents because for all we know they may have actually buckled him in and then the child unbuckled himself.  You said this was in rush hour traffic so was there anyway for the parents to pull over and restrap the child in? Although a visit from a police officer might scare the child into staying in his seat if that is the case.

    My son went through a phase when he was younger where he figured out how to unbuckle himself from his carseat and often would going down the road. I've to pull over many times and put him back in his seat.



    This. I'd file it under the category 'None of My Beeswax,' and move on.
  • beambeam
    Posts: 1,579Member
    None of my business.

    Some get out of their belts and the person may have pulled over when he/she could.

    Thing that bothers me and I've seen in twice this month, bitty babies (maybe around 3 months) being carried by a woman in the back seat of a car on the highway around Paris (French drivers are super crazy and speed limits are 80mph). I don't call anyone (couldn't do that here if I wanted to, but I wouldn't), I just look at them in utter disbelief.
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  • warriormommy3warriormommy3
    Posts: 207Member
    some people are crazy.. if youre not going to put them in a car seat at least buckle them in and make them sit. some people.... i dont know if i would call anyone i would probably just judge from afar and hope that they dont get into an accident 
  • WickedDunkieJunkieWickedDunkieJunkie
    Posts: 8,649Member
    I really REALLY try not to judge because my now 18yo DD was always getting out of her carseat. I'd always pull right over, because I'm a wicked seatbelt/carseat Nazi.

    But, when I see people come through the drive-thru at McDonald's (Yeeaahh it's a sucky job but it gives me a paycheck) & their LITTLE kids are hanging out the window... I do say, (nicely) "Okay, time to get buckled back up... Mommy wouldn't want anything to happen to you if someone hit her car."

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  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    I'd have called 911 right then and there with that license plate.  That's just NOT o.k. to do.  In CA and AZ it's one reason to be pulled over in the absence of any other moving violation.  The fines are x amount if you have NO car seat and double or triple if you have one and aren't using it.  As they should be!
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  • beambeam
    Posts: 1,579Member
    Being here in France has changed me, made me look at denouncing someone to the police very differently. The reason so few people do it here is that many did the "law abiding thing to do" and denounced Jewish people living here or there or hiding, which sent many to their death (although many did not know they were being sent off to die). It is a collective guilt and shame the French carry that still weighs heavy on the consciousness here, so now they denounce almost no one.

    So the first questions I ask myself: is anyone in emanate danger right then and there? Someone getting beaten? Calling for help? Recklessness that could kill me or my family? If not, I tend to let it go... and in my personal circle of friend or network spread the word about better behaviors. But for this example one could campaign in their area for more seatbelt ads or the tv and radio rather than calling the cops.

    A broken heart is a rite of passage and, looking back, I must have wanted one pretty badly. "Kick me," I demanded, and when somebody finally did, I burst like a cheap piñata. - DAVID SEDARIS
  • PJSaregreatPJSaregreat
    Posts: 356Member
    When my 2 oldest were in car seats, they would get out of those things ALL. THE. TIME. No matter what I did. I don't know if they were helping each other out or what, but seriously, they were little escape artists. I always pulled over and buckled them back up or they would even do it themselves when they got caught.
    Maybe that's the case here and I would let it go, unless you saw for sure that there was no seat for the child.
    But I'm curious about something and no one else has asked...and hopefully I don't get 'ripped a new one' on here...but, you weren't driving while taking the pic, were you?
    I'm as concerned about that and attempting to catch up to the suv in rush hour traffic, as I am about the child not being buckled in.