I don’t know what made me do it. I try to mind my own business most of the time. I mean, sure, I look in other cars to see what carseats are being used–that comes with the territory. But I don’t get involved. I know other techs personally who have had parents go ballistic on them when they’ve offered safety advice in parking lots. Since I don’t know if someone has a weapon in their vehicle and since I often don’t have the time to do an all-out carseat inspection, I simply go about my business. But not the other day.
Perhaps it was the mood I was in or perhaps I was just sick and tired of all of the misuse at my dd’s elementary school (Hah! Misuse would definitely be an improvement over no use, don’t you think?), but on the way home from picking up my dd at school, I’d had enough. Fortunately, our state has a hotline we can call when we see unrestrained kids. My dd and I memorized the vehicle’s license plate number and I called when we got home. This SUV had at least three booster-aged kids in it and one of them was riding unrestrained in the cargo area. The little boy, the youngest, was happily moving about the cargo area even though there were 7 seatbelts available for use. We even had just driven through an accident site–the accident just occurred about a minute or so before we drove through (yep, a red light runner). Mom still didn’t pull over to make sure her kids were safe. So I reported them.
Mom will get a letter in the mail from one of the local police departments educating her on the use of child restraints. It’s fairly innocuous and I’m sure she’ll throw it away thinking that since she did the same thing when she was a kid, her ds will be OK. But hopefully it won’t end up in the trash. Maybe now she’ll know she’s being watched and will do better to make sure her kids are safe. As a parent, I can’t imagine not making the environment my kids are in as safe as possible. The mere act of a hard stop would have inured that boy in some manner and I truly can’t comprehend why he wasn’t restrained.
I don’t know if I’ll call again when I see him unrestrained. I tend not to get involved and tend to be phone-phobic. It’s easier and I’m all for easy. Perhaps, though, calling this one time will have made a difference.