Post It Notes from the edge of reason #1

I really do not understand this concept.

The bulk of the kids I see at my kids’ schools are dropped off without wearing seat belt, lets not even comment on the lack of safety/booster seats – just seat belts would be a luxury at this stage.

Standing between the front seats is as common as candy floss for kids.  Small babies/toddlers/children being held by moms sitting in the back seat appears to be standard practice.

I am not maths higher grade, but I can work out that even if you are buckled in and you are holding an object that is not, your car come to an unexpected stop, your body will fly forward at 60/80/120km an hour until something stops its forward motion…. but what ever is in your arms will continue travelling 60/80/120 kilometers until it meets a stationary object that stops it.

Stationary object being the windscreen, a wall, the road you are travelling on and so on.

It is impossible (virtually impossible) to hold on to any object with that sort of force/speed ….. but why do moms (and dads) persist in not buckling their kids up and either let them stand free or allow them to sit on their laps?

What is it that I am missing?  What is there to gain by not buckling a child up?

I feel people should be fined who are caught with kids unbuckled in a car.  The parents should be subjected to 5 days of community service, served in emergency rooms like Red Cross Hospital and the morgue who regularly receive children who were not buckled up and have died or been injured due to not being strapped in. 

Alternatively the parents should be smacked in the head.  With a chair.  Repeatedly.

side bar >>  Some one suggested that I should not get upset by this behaviour.  I should view it as evolution’s way of culling the simple minded.  Stupid people do not buckle up, stupid people die in car accidents and so do thier children, so this is nature’s way of skimming off the stupid. 

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27 Comments

  1. We had friends visit us on the farm the other day. They live about an hour and 10 minutes drive away. They have 3 beautiful little girls under the age of 7. After a heavy Sunday roast, red wine and a fair amount of beers, they drove off without strapping any kids in. They NEVER strap their kids in. EVER. NEVER EVER! So in a nutshell, he drove home slightly pissed on a national rode with no-one strapped in. Where, is the logic?

    What a doos…

    Reply
  2. I have to say, as a Brit living in SA, I was shocked at how lax some parents are here compared to the UK, where the idea of travelling in a car with unstrapped kids is considered downright unacceptable. This was achieved by lots of hard hitting TV and advertising campaigns, led by the police, which just drive home to you every day on your TV the risk you take in not using car seats. Incidentally, it’s the same method they use in the UK for deterring drink driving. They know on those chilly nights, 99% of the British population are inside watching TV!

    Reply
  3. Desiree de Goede

     /  May 18, 2012

    My latest Facebook status, as posted yesterday:

    In the past 2 weeks I have counted more than 12 cars where the babies and/or toddlers haven’t been strapped in – moms, dads and siblings holding bouncing and playing toddlers on their laps…while driving – is this a growing trend? I have no words…

    And now, this is my comment to the those who do not strap their children in securely:

    This little trend is becoming all to common-place. The danger is obvious…yet, so clearly ignored….you may think that surely that would never happen to “your” child right ? I mean – accidents where children are flung from vehicles because they weren’t strapped in don’t happen to you, right…W.R.O.N.G. – you are, knowingly, putting your child in harms way … are some of the comments above strong… aggressive….yes, and they should be! this is a VERY serious matter, it is not a convenience or a luxury to have a carseat, it is a NECESSITY … carseats also do not always have to break the bank…and I know of people who have purchased 2nd hand carseats for under R500.00, it can be done! it should be done…would you knowingly send your children into a cage full of hungry and vicious animals…knowing that they will more than likely be hurt…killed even ? no, then why would you drive without having your child safely secured? isnt it the same principle? I do not come from money, I have not had everything handed to me on a golden platter, so I am not speaking as if “money were no option” – but the safety of my children is also not an option, doing everything I can for them is my ONLY option …for most of us, having children was OUR choice…therefor, their safety is OUR priority…we are responsible for them – do you not see this?

    *sigh* – when will it end ? what will take to change this? how many children will die?

    Reply
  4. My best is when the same moms have a “baby on board” sticker on the car. Well, if they have an accident, the baby will no longer be “on board”, it will be dead. Enough said, makes my blood boil every time I see it.

    Reply
  5. Helen (1st-Timer)

     /  May 17, 2012

    It is definitely the law in SA that everyone in a Carne wearing a seatbelt. I’m sorry but money issues aren’t an excuse. If your kid unbuckles, you pull over, do whatever discipline works for you (I favour a blind hiding)and continue on your way. My 2 year old knows how to unclick his car seat. It also know he is not allowed to.

    You think driving with your kids running free is ok? Watch this and tell me what you think

    http://video.ak.fbcdn.net/cfs-ak-ash4/v/440764/357/10150743273863434_26813.mp4?oh=e8fa6a177200ab5a6c9d9d8737771870&oe=4FB7CF00&__gda__=1337446144_834376257283a4fcf5875e8c31513673

    Reply
    • The Ninja Mommy

       /  May 18, 2012

      If you had read my message you would see i do strap my daughter in and that i take the next exit on the highway and stop and put the seatbelt back on. By the way can you tell me where they are giving away free carseats??? I would love to get one as I am pretty desperate! As far as I know a high five doesnt pay for a carseat….I painstakingly set aside money…which by the way hopefully by the end of this week would have surmounted to enough for me to choose buying a carseat over my daughters food and nappies. I am so glad that you are such an awesome self-righteous mom who thinks money grows on trees and blind hidings are the way to go! My other option is to walk to work which is already a 45minute drive..I have to come to work to afford the carseat…I dont think the office will appreciate me pitching up at 12pm and I dont think my daughter would either! It might do you some good to do charity….Im sure sitting on the couch and telling people money is no excuse is quite comfortable for you…but maybe try put yourself in their shoes…which will probably be some pretty big ones to full…possibly quite beyond you.

      Reply
      • Helen (1st-Timer)

         /  May 18, 2012

        There really are many places that you can get cheap 2nd hand car seats from but no I don’t think money grows on trees and i sympathise with your predicament. If you had not managed to get a car seat I do actually know quite a few of us moms on the moomie forum that would have been willing to help you out or try to make a plan if that is somethinng you had wanted..

        My comment was that clearly strapping your daughter in and then driving to the next exit is not working for your daughter and her safety. By all means don’t smack her if you would prefer not to – I specifically said that is what I do, not what mothers should necessarily do.

        The facts are that as RM says, if you are travelling at X km/h and you have an accident, any child not strapped to the car is going to continue to travel at roughly X km/h smack through that windscreen and onto the road/car in front. I’m not saying this as an attack on you, and i’m sorry if my bluntness offends you but that’s just how science and continuous motion works.

        I have vivid memories of my mother performing CPR on a very bloodied little body outside my house as a child when I neighbour drove down the road with their kid unstrapped.

        Anyway, must get back to my couch in my mansion and enjoy my perfect life. Good luck with the shoes.

        Reply
        • The Ninja Mommy

           /  May 22, 2012

          I just want to say I hear you…perhaps I feel so tense because I am tense about the fact that I KNOW i have failed on this part! I am in complete agreement and as weezafish suggested, I have joined the freecycle page..in any case, I get my first proper ( as in ALL MINE) paycheck this week, I will post a photo of the seat with my Ninchuck in it ;) ……. Hope the couch is comfy, i aim to get a super comfy one, one day! Didnt want to start an argument..so sorry if i upset anyone

          Reply
          • reluctantmom

             /  May 22, 2012

            I am in Cape Town, I have a baby car seat I used for Isabelle – if you want it and can meet me in a shady alley somewhere, you are welcome to it. xxx

            Reply
      • It’s great you have internet, use it to do something awesome for your childs safety and get yourself a free carseat. Here’s how. Join your local Freecycle group http://www.freecycle.org/group/ZA/South%20Africa and post a want for the carseat you need. Explain why, as you have done so here, you can’t afford one and if some kind soul doesn’t offer you one, then let me know. I’ll find you one myself. It’s essential if you drive a car with kids, if you have a car then you must even think of it when you purchase, allow for it in your budget. It’s like buying a car without brakes and then just taking a risk and driving it anyway. And can we please try and remember what drivers often forget, YOU maybe a simply stunning driver but there are nutters out there on the road with you every day who drive really badly. THEY are the ones who will cause an accident, but your children, if they’re not strapped in safe, may be the victims. I think car manufacturers should help, surely they can come up with a back seat seatbelt design that adjusts to suit a young child?

        Reply
  6. The Ninja Mommy

     /  May 17, 2012

    uM…I Totally hear what you are saying…..except that under your general view I would be one of the moms you smack…however I want to let you know that I berate myself every single time i have to drive with my daughter because she doesnt have a car seat. See we had a bad experience overseas that ended up with us being in a shelter…i got a free flight passage from the govt for our safety…i was penniless literally…so i coudlnt afford to pay 1000rand to get my daughters car seat on the flight with us! I have struggled to find a job, am living with a family member and for the love of goodness cannot afford a carseat, although i am scrimping and saving for one where i can….sometimes it comes down to a choice of feeding my child a little extra over putting more money aside. yes you can say a second hand carseat is inexpensive…but imagine having just enough money to buy nappies, milk and food…no other luxuries. at the moment my car isnt working, so i catch a lift in the morning from where we live..the only person who can give a lift..has a two seat bakkie…i have heard and read that buckling your child into the same seatbelt that you are in will crush them and possibly cause worse injuries…..i am not sure how to make this work. if i am alone with my daughter…to hell and gone she will be strapped with the car seatbelt….however since she is really clever, she has figured out how to undo it…..this is a problem to fix when i am travelling down the highway..i always take the next stop to fix it…but i know that there are probably moms who have passed me by and are wanting to smack me as you say…because my daughter undid her belt and promptly started jumping around! i try my best…and am in agreement with you wholeheartedly…..and i am doing my best, but i got a heavy heart reading this.

    Reply
  7. HI, I am a blogger too and I really love your blog site and I am working on designing mine fully, I want to put pictures on the side like you have done. What widget do you use on your side bar to be able to put the pictures up?

    Reply
  8. My daughter (7) recently asked if her little friends mother didn’t love her – “Well you don’t get strapped in or put your click on, I think she might want you dead” – she nodded knowingly.
    Little friend is the only one out of the 4 children in this family that now, probably to spite her mother, will wear a seat belt.
    Baby steps.

    Reply
  9. reluctantmom

     /  May 16, 2012

    I saw a woman today when i collected the kids – white hatch back – CY registration. Three kids in the car.

    5 – 7 year old boy on the front seat – no seat belt. Baby in the backseat – sitting in a baby chair, possibly not restrained as she had leaned forward and was leaning against the back seat, so clearly right out of the baby seat. I could not see if the little girl in the back had a seat belt on.

    The irony is that the female driver had a seat belt on …… someone please pass me a chair ……

    Reply
  10. V

     /  May 16, 2012

    I so agree with you. I have even thought about making flyers which show pictures of the results of not buckling in and giving them to the parents when the cars stop at robots! I don’t even let my toddler go for a short trip ie round the block without strapping him in as I know that this will start him off wanting to do it more often. With my oldest I used to sometimes let him sit on the floor at the back of the car but even to this day I often struggle to get him to put his seatbelt on when he is in the backseat. In front he does it without question(he is 13). So for the newbie I decided that if he never ever was not strapped in then he would be so used to it that he wouldn’t perform when I try and strap him in. And it seems to have worked, he doesn’t complain 99% of the time. And the 1% is usually when the carseat is very hot or he has a poo bum!

    But I disagree with the person who spoke about stupidity. Children should not have to be punished if their parents are stupid, even if there is a chance that they’ll also grow up to be stupid!! But having stupid parents is punishment enough, the poor things should not have to die for it:)

    Reply
  11. Oh absolutely ! One of my pet peeves as well – don’t these people love or even like their children ?

    Reply
  12. I also do not understand it! It is not negotiable!~

    Reply
  13. Oh I am so with you on this.

    Reply
  14. Sonya

     /  May 16, 2012

    It IS law that children HAVE to be in car-seats (not 100% sure of the ages) I think its up until 5 yrs, and then they must have booster seats until I think 12 or until they have reached a certain height – after that they have to wear their safety belts just like any other back seat passenger. So the laws are there, they just need to be enforeced!

    Reply
    • Alexandra

       /  May 16, 2012

      I didn’t realise that it was law here, I know it is law in the UK and other European countries but thought we were behind on this. Would love to get some legal document to show the school who seem to think that just a seatbelt is acceptable for the under 5′s.

      Reply
  15. Toni-Leigh

     /  May 16, 2012

    I’m sooo with you on this one. Infuriates me so much. And such ridiculous excuses they have too (she cries when I put the seatbelt on / put in carseat, my parents did it and I’m fine). My other gripe is when the kids are roaming around the car but the mom/dad is strapped in. My baby’s carseat is a non-negotiable.

    Reply
  16. Alexandra

     /  May 16, 2012

    I am so with you on this one.

    But I want to know what do people think about children on school buses?

    My children are supposed to be going on a school trip to the zoo. They are to be transported in those luxury mini buses. Okay so these “luxury” vehicles have seatbelts but that’s not going to work for the littlies. I have decided to not to let my children go for this reason (and also because I don’t think the venue is suitable). But am I being paranoid? Do children on school buses wear seatbelts nowadays?

    Reply
  17. Wendy

     /  May 16, 2012

    Unacceptable! It is one of my pet peeves! I feel like stopping them and saying “are you an idiot?” – common sense tells you what is going to happen in these circumstances. And poverty is not a major factor – most of the people I see doing this are driving fancy SUV’s or 4×4′s, not a Beetle with no safety belts!

    Reply
  18. ludditelass

     /  May 16, 2012

    I am so with you on this. I think not buckling your children in is child neglect and abuse. It should be a punishable offence. The head of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) in the Western Cape was on Cape Talk the other day saying that not being strapped in was a contributing factor in the deaths of those four children in that accident over the weekend. Shaking my head in despair.

    Reply
  19. You’re definitely not the only one – I too want to smack moms like that. They are selfish by that type of behavior – putting their child’s life in danger.

    Reply
  20. Charlotte aka Scaredmom

     /  May 16, 2012

    get upset Celeste… Its okay. I am sometimes guilty of this with Amandalynn, but Lorelai is always in her seat!

    Reply

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