To refuse to give my cousin a lift home when she has a broken leg?

(170 Posts)
NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 22:33:43

I was in my aunts house today visiting and her daughter, my cousin (27), came down with her 2 yo ds. My cousin has broken her leg so obviously can't drive. Her dp dropped her and their ds down and it was arranged he would pick them up again after he finished a job (self employed electrician).

After 2 hours I was about to leave when my cousin asked me if I would give her and her ds a lift home as her ds was getting bored and tired and she thought her dp would have been back by now. I said no problem as long as there was a spare car seat. My aunt has lots of grandchildren and usually there is is a spare one lying around.

The spare one was being used by another family member but cousin still insisted on a lift home. She lives 5 mins away by car but I was very uncomfortable travelling with her ds without a car seat. I told her this but she just kept saying over and over that it would be ok and she would belt him up, keep a hold of him etc. that he was getting cranky and I was being mean not helping her when she had a broken leg, it's only 5 minutes. I put my foot down and said no, it wasn't happening. Cousin got very angry and started swearing at me saying I was being a fucking prick. My aunt told her to stop talking to me like that but she continued.

She is never like this so it was quite upsetting for me to hear. After about 10 mins, thankfully her dp comes to collect them and the ds can travel safely.

I feel a bit bad I couldn't take them home when her ds was unsettled but thought it more
Important that he be protected in the event of a crash. Cousin obviously thought I was being unreasonable.

FullOfChoc Tue 05-Aug-14 22:35:25

YANBU No way would I have taken a 2 yo without a car seat.

Ainmnua Tue 05-Aug-14 22:38:07


WooWooOwl Tue 05-Aug-14 22:39:59


Janethegirl Tue 05-Aug-14 22:40:03

YANBU no way would I do that nowadays, back in the 1980s maybe.

MyPrettyToes Tue 05-Aug-14 22:40:44

YANBU. Well done. It takes a second for a catastrophic accident to occur.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 05-Aug-14 22:41:05

yanbu but she may be extra pissed off because she has a broken leg.

wheresthelight Tue 05-Aug-14 22:42:27

Yanbu!! She is a bloody idiot for even contemplating travelling without a car seat. Apart from anything else it would be you that would lose your license

FrankSaysNo Tue 05-Aug-14 22:43:38

fucking prick no one says this IRL but it's all over MN.

Get a better quality of relative.

Purpleroxy Tue 05-Aug-14 22:43:48

Yanbu. You would have been breaking the law taking a 2yo without a car seat.

Thebodyloveschocolateandwine Tue 05-Aug-14 22:44:07

You were completely right op. I guess she felt bad because of her leg. Sure she will apologise.

flipflopsandcottonsocks Tue 05-Aug-14 22:44:13

YANBU AT ALL! No way should anyone allow a 2yo in a car with no car seat, regardless of distance. Well done for standing your ground.

queenofthemountain Tue 05-Aug-14 22:44:25

I would have taken them.
Legally there is no legal requirement for one-off unforeseen journeys to have a car seat (as in taxis)
Secondly it's only 5 minutes.What was the chances of having an accident.When I was a kid no one had car seats.There weren't even seatbelts in the back.I never heard of anyone killed or injured .
Thirdly, your cousin is up against it.I would have thought a bit of relief to her much more outweighed the infinitessimal risk of injury during one 5 mjinute drive.

NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 22:46:09

Thanks everyone. I sort of knew I wasn't being unreasonable but tbh felt bad not helping her when she has a broken leg. Oh well at least the ds got home safely.

ExcuseTypos Tue 05-Aug-14 22:47:14

No I wouldn't take a two year old without a car seat.

She's an idiot for asking you over and over, when you'd said you weren't comfortable with it.

sunbathe Tue 05-Aug-14 22:52:46

Why didn't she phone her dp?

NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 22:52:46

queen no, nothing probably would have happened but I didn't want to take the risk.

NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 22:54:22

sunbathe she said she didn't want to ring him while he was doing a job in someone's house. confused

I've taken a 2 year old on an unexpected, short journey when her mother injured her leg. It was me or a taxi and the taxi wouldn't have had a car seat either.

It's not illegal in those circumstances. However, I would have tried to find out how long her DH was going to be and I would prefer not to be put in that position. The alternative was for a fractious child to wait a bit, not the bed of the world.

My DF broke his neck in a car accident that happened about four hundred yards from our house. He was lucky to survive with the only lasting damage being a permanent loss of sensation in the left hand side of his body. Nobody knows what is around the corner.

Cataline Tue 05-Aug-14 23:05:17

Queenofthemountain What a load of ignorant claptrap!

BreadForBrains Tue 05-Aug-14 23:09:16

She was rude to have, well, been so rude.
Aside from the rudeness, I'd have done it without a seconds thought. For a one off 5 minute journey.
Yanbu that you didn't feel comfortable doing it, just saying I would have.

BreadForBrains Tue 05-Aug-14 23:10:35

I have taken my ds (also 2) in a taxi without a car seat on many occasions. As I have done with my other dc. Statically possibly equally as likely to have an accident? I don't actually know, just wondering.

VitoCorleone Tue 05-Aug-14 23:10:35

Nope, i wouldn't take a 2 year old in my car without a car seat either.

soverylucky Tue 05-Aug-14 23:13:10

As it was not an emergency yanbu.

MidniteScribbler Tue 05-Aug-14 23:13:28

I would have refused, and her performance would guarantee never getting a lift anywhere from me ever again.

NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 23:16:36

Thanks for the replies everyone, a lot of mixed views. I know it was 5 mins and the chances of having an accident were slim but I am not the most confident driver under normal circumstances, and felt very nervous about taking him.

Still feel awful though I didn't help her sad

HappySeaTurtles Tue 05-Aug-14 23:17:51


Statistically speaking most car accidents happen less than 1 mile away from your house.

As driver you're responsible for all your passengers, I'd want all mine to be secured as possible. I don't allow cars I'm in to drive off until everyone's buckled, even if I'm not the one driving. I open the door and plant my feet on the ground until they do. smile

queenofthemountain Tue 05-Aug-14 23:26:12

'Queenofthemountain What a load of ignorant claptrap!'

why? What do you think the odds were of the child being injured on that journey were?

queenofthemountain Tue 05-Aug-14 23:33:18

Just calculated the risk, assuming the distance was 2 miles.It is 1 in 62.5 million

lia66 Tue 05-Aug-14 23:34:20

Myself and my then almost 2 yr old daughter were hit head on by a car that lost control coming out of a bend last year on a half mile journey home from school. I was badly hurt despite seat belt and air bags, daughters window was completely gone and she had to be dragged out of what was left of it.

Luckily because she was in a correctly fitted car seat she escaped with a cut cheek and seatbelt bruising.

Very naive to say nothing would happen. Op did the right thing.

Namechangearoonie123 Tue 05-Aug-14 23:38:23

I would have taken them because it's his mothers call, not mine.

It's no different than taking a taxi anyway .

Namechangearoonie123 Tue 05-Aug-14 23:38:58

Scratch that. Actually I think as the driver you're legally liable for the passengers

It would have counted as an unexpected short journey and not, therefore, have been illegal. And the likelihood of an accident happening on such a short journey is pretty low.
I think you were being precious and self-righteous and, given that your cousin had a broken leg and a fractious toddler to deal with, I'm not surprised she was angry with you. Maybe she was excessively rude, but when you're in pain and tired and someone is standing there smugly and prissily refusing to help you, it's understandable that you are going to get pissed off.

OnlyTheWelshCanCwtch Tue 05-Aug-14 23:49:55

You did the right thing

ChelsyHandy Tue 05-Aug-14 23:51:14

The milk of human kindness clearly flows in a very diluted, fully skimmed version with you OP. However I'm sure you are self-congratulating yourself but I think possibly a tad U not to appreciate your cousin may have been swearing because of frustration at things mounting up while she has a broken leg, and because self-righteous people who drone on about things that might go wrong without actually doing anything useful generally aren't particularly popular (other than on mumsnet).

NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 23:55:59

How the fuck is it self righteous, precious and smug to want a toddler to be fully protected against any possible accidents in a car? You know it is possible to say yabu without being so nasty.

"Congratulating myself", seriously? hmm

grocklebox Tue 05-Aug-14 23:58:37

I would have done it. How is it any different from a taxi, which I'm sure you would have had no problem with at all?

I would have taken her.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 00:01:30

If the taxi driver had no problem doing it, then that's up to them.

trufflesnout Wed 06-Aug-14 00:01:57

I'm not sure I would have done it. Tbh I probably would have caved against my better judgement because I am a pushover.

Isn't it statistically more likely you'll have an accident on a short journey vs a long one? I can't remember where I read that but I've definitely read it before.

I don't know if she thought swearing at you was going to convince you, but I would have told her to fuck off right back.

grocklebox Wed 06-Aug-14 00:03:12

but if a taxi had arrived and she got in it, would you have had a problem with the child not being in a seat? My bet is you would have given zero fucks.
So really you were being rather selfish.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 00:06:33

No I wouldn't have been particularly happy with it but I could hardly stop it from happening.

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 06-Aug-14 00:13:13


I can not drive, I can not take my children out without relying on lift, heck ATM I can't even have bath when I want to.

Lucky for me in that I have a supportive family that I can count on to give me a shred of interpendancy

MidniteScribbler Wed 06-Aug-14 00:16:01

Geez talk about an overreaction from some posters. Anyone would think the OP stole the cousin's crutches and ran off giggling. So she had to wait ten more minutes before her husband showed up and the child could go home in a car seat. Big deal.

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Aug-14 00:17:42

I'd have done it but if you're not comfortable with it, that's your own business.


Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 00:19:36

Wouldn't the obvious solution be to leave your DS with your family for the 10 minutes you would be running them home?

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Aug-14 00:21:58

It's the cousin's DS Morloth

Nanny0gg Wed 06-Aug-14 00:25:12

A family were driving from our village to the next one, so were 5 minutes from home.

Hit by a lorry.

The toddler (in her proper car seat) had to be cut out and airlifted to hospital. She isn't back completely to herself 18 months on.

No, the OP may have been fine. But if anything had gone wrong she would never have forgiven herself.

Not worth the risk. And that doesn't make her self-righteous or any of the other spiteful terms that have been applied to her.

Nanny0gg Wed 06-Aug-14 00:26:36

And if you book a private hire car here (as opposed to black cabs) they will bring a child seat.

slithytove Wed 06-Aug-14 00:30:02

Not a chance would I have done this.

I know someone who lost their child because they weren't correctly strapped in.

No short journey is worth that risk. Let the parents take the risk if they must, you don't have to.

sykadelic Wed 06-Aug-14 00:33:24

I wouldn't have done it. It doesn't matter what anyone else would have done or expected someone to do for them. You do not HAVE to do something if you don't want to.

She was putting you and her child at risk. Dollars to donuts if something had have happened it would have been YOUR fault.

As is so popular here: "No is a complete sentence".

Yamyoid Wed 06-Aug-14 00:36:14

Private hire cars don't have child seats. They'd need 3 types in their boot, that's not feasible when they often carry luggage for airport drops etc.
op, you did what you thought was the right thing so that's what's important although I do sympathise with your cousin.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 06-Aug-14 00:37:24

I will never drive a child around in my car without a carseat. If that makes me a "fucking prick" then so be it.

As she only lived five minutes away I would have asked if she had a carseat at home, dropped her off collected seat and returned to Grandmas for the two year old. Much safer and worth the extra driving than ever taking a two year old in a car without a seat.

The chance is low but the outcome could be lifechanging

Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 00:42:22

I would have taken them, It was one short journey and when I was a kid we didn't even wear seatbelts far less have car seats. 7 of us used to clamber into my granddads Datsun to go into town.

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 01:39:43

Ah, I misread, I thought the OP had one car seat for her child and the problem was two toddlers one seat.

In that case no way, no carseat means no lift.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 06-Aug-14 02:00:15

I agree with Queen of sorry can't remember and SGB, for 5 min. journey, mum with broken leg and stressed, I'd have given them a lift.

Sorry, I think YABU and a bit precious.

YWNBU. I wouldn't have done it either. Though yes, probably doesn't count as illegal as could be classed as "one off unexpected trip" that is no magic wand meaning journey is somehow protected from usual dangers that child car seats were introduced to protect children from. As for taxis - pah!!!! the way I've seen many of them drive there's no way I'd want my son in one car seat or no. Many round here show blatant disregard for the safety of people - children and otherwise - obvious speeding in residential areas, flying through green man crossings, ignoring school zig zags to name a few. Also if they're so exceptionally safe how come they encourage children to travel on parents' knees which seems to be the acceptable way round here sad It chills me to the bone every time.

Instead of abusing you your cousin should have been appreciative of your consideration of the safety of her dc. I would have been :-)

You're the type of parent I would like to drive my ds. smile

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 02:21:52

fucking prick

Oh believe me they do!

I would have taken them in two trips

marcopront Wed 06-Aug-14 02:22:40

Actually I think the cousin having a broken leg would make me less inclined to do it. If I have to take a small child in a car without a car seat, I would want an adult sitting in the back with them making sure they were sitting properly and able to help them if needed. With a broken leg your cousin would not be able to move about easily.

I've already posted on a similar thread this week where a poster was wondering if she had BU to ask that her ds didn't travel in a car made for four passengers when there would have been five of them. And yes Lally112 I also remember trips like that. I also mentioned we too got 8 in a Datsun and we went on holiday like that. But there are reasons why seatbelts in the front were made compulsory. Seatbelts in the back were made compulsory - I have also owned cars where they weren't even fitted in the back. Car seats were introduced and also made compulsory. I for one are glad of these advances increasing the safety of those travelling on the road, especially little ones and I will take every measure going to keep my ds safe. It also follows that I wish the same for anybody else (child or adult) travelling with me.

Life or death situation - yes many of these may fly out of the window - eg choking child etc. Fractious adult with bored child. Not one of these situations. Leg or no leg.

Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 02:50:41

For 5 minutes though? If we are being honest - leaving her to walk with a broken leg could have also got her and the kid run over because shes not quick enough to get off the road in time. I don't wear a seatbelt ever - I have a medical exemption and I drive a huge farm truck, I'm still here to have a good old moan too.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 02:58:05

Yeah but if they walked and got into an accident she wouldn;t blame herself and wouldn't get into trouble for it. I wouldn't do it and think its unreasonable for a cousin to expect that of her. If something happened, god forbid, the OP would never forgive herself.

wobblyweebles Wed 06-Aug-14 03:00:45

I'd have driven her and her DS home.

Do you also insist all 2yo children on buses are strapped into carseats?

wobblyweebles Wed 06-Aug-14 03:00:47

I'd have driven her and her DS home.

Do you also insist all 2yo children on buses are strapped into carseats?

It doesn't sound like she was planning to walk home though. Huge farm trucks are pretty protective themselves I'd say. Us pootling about in our smaller vehicles - not so much smile

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 03:04:22

Do you also insist all 2yo children on buses are strapped into carseats

That isn't the law though is it? This is.

Buses built different to cars. Passengers less likely to fly through windscreen. In coaches I always insisted on him wearing one. I do remember funeral car when my grandma died couldn't fit ds's carseat so I took him in my car instead.

wobblyweebles Wed 06-Aug-14 03:13:49

No it's not the law. It's a short unforeseen journey as many people above have pointed out.

Are there no windows at all in buses then Leonard?

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 03:17:03

If the child is under 3 they have to be in a car seat. Only a child over 3 can travel without one for an 'unforeseen journey'

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 03:17:47

If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

over a short distance
You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab).

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 03:21:53
Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 03:37:04

Huge farm truck is immense during an impact as some daft scirocco driver found out being on his phone (getting a free paint job out of that one). didn't even set my airbags off, in fact I don't think the truck noticed it had been bumped. I would have still felt pretty shit leaving her with a broken leg. Busses are every 2 and a half hours where I live and the road is 7 miles of 60 limit with no path.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 03:41:48

But Lally you aren't the OP and I doubt she has a farm truck like yours, and probably doesn't live in such a rural area. Regardless though I wouldn't have done it, it's illegal for one

Mckayz Wed 06-Aug-14 04:02:34

Wobbly as Morphine has pointed out it is actually the law. It's only children over 3 who can go without a car seat for unexpected journeys.

OP YANBU. There's no way I would have done it.

Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 04:08:09

She was asking for opinions, I merely gave mine. Technically legal or not its about leaving someone with a broken leg and a kid without transport.

Mckayz Wed 06-Aug-14 04:09:53

And getting a fine and points on your license. Not to mention the risk of injury or death.

Plus it was a 10 minute wait.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 04:13:54

Of course Lally I understand that, but opinions for the OP must surely be based on her circumstances not your own. It's not technically, it's illegal and is for a reason. Accidents can happen on an hour trip, or a 5 minute one. I think the sensible solution would be to take the adult then the child, separate trips.Or wait the ten minutes.

I actually doubted it being against the law at first because of the posts on here but after research I knew I was right. I don't even drive hmm

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Aug-14 04:40:33

It wasn't an emergency, she was just cross and impatient because her toddler was playing up - she could have texted her husband to find out when he was likely to show up but chose not to (I understand not phoning, but don't see why she couldn't have texted him) - and it was definitely not on to berate you about your choice, OP.

YWNBU by the way - I wouldn't have taken a child that small without a seat either.

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Aug-14 04:40:33

It wasn't an emergency, she was just cross and impatient because her toddler was playing up - she could have texted her husband to find out when he was likely to show up but chose not to (I understand not phoning, but don't see why she couldn't have texted him) - and it was definitely not on to berate you about your choice, OP.

YWNBU by the way - I wouldn't have taken a child that small without a seat either.

MidniteScribbler Wed 06-Aug-14 04:43:11

Oh my god! Doesn't anyone read the OP's posts? The cousin wasn't 'stranded', she just had to wait ten more minutes until her husband showed up.

Idocrazythings Wed 06-Aug-14 06:02:51

YWNBU. As well as the safety aspect if you got pulled over by the police you'd be fined. And as the driver you'd be the one deemed responsible.

ProudAS Wed 06-Aug-14 06:36:16

YANBU OP. It would have been illegal and you as the driver would have been responsible.

She could have got a taxi - it would have been legal but not ideal in a taxi.

merrymouse Wed 06-Aug-14 06:49:18


She was not left without transport - she just had to wait a bit.

It doesn't matter what the likelihood of an accident is. Once the accident has happened it won't be much consolation that you were just very unlucky.

The idea that either an adult seat belt or 'holding' a two year old will do you any good in an accident is ridiculous.

merrymouse Wed 06-Aug-14 07:06:18

Also, leaving aside the safety issues, the cousin was at her mum's house. That might be a bit annoying but it is hardly stranded.

Nanny0gg Wed 06-Aug-14 09:18:04

Private hire cars don't have child seats. They'd need 3 types in their boot, that's not feasible when they often carry luggage for airport drops etc.

They don't carry them about, no. But as you have to pre-book if they are coming from home they can bring one.

Laquitar Wed 06-Aug-14 10:53:39

My guess is that she had an argument with her mum or her dh and thats why she wanted you to take her home.
If ds was bored they could put a dvd on, give him a snack, open the garden door or grandma could take him for a 10 min walk and fresh air.
Something else was going on and she took it out on you.

The point is not so much that you were being unreasonable and unhelpful (though you were - it really wasn't either that risky or illegal to do what your cousin asked). It's that you're whining because she was, very understandably, annoyed with you. She was in pain, her toddler was playing up, and you were standing there with a smug self-righteous face on going oooh, no, more than my job's worth. Do you not get how fucking maddening that sort of attitude is to someone who is in pain and stressed out?

Mckayz Wed 06-Aug-14 11:18:30

Solid it is illegal to carry a 2 year old in a private car without a car seat. She was not remotely self righteous at all. She didn't want to break the law.

zzzzz Wed 06-Aug-14 11:20:50

YABU legally the child didn't need to be in a car seat. Poor cousin (though she should have just sucked it up not shouted at you).

You were highly unlikely to be in an accident driving away from the house (you haven't mentioned it so I assume you didn't prang the car on that trip).

The reason you are more likely to have an accident near your home is you drive near your home a lot more than other places you ding bats.

I survived my entire childhood as did my three siblings without being in a car seat. Sometimes I think people have lost all understanding of risk at all.

WooWooOwl Wed 06-Aug-14 11:23:58

SGB, of course it's risky to take a small child on a car journey without an appropriate restraint!

If there were no risk, if children weren't safer using appropriate car seats, then no one would bother with them. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that they do reduce the risk of harm to a child in the event if an accident quite significantly.

It's not jobsworthy or self righteous to refuse to do something that is both unsafe and illegal.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 11:25:21

There's an interesting TED talk by Steven Levitt about the statistics of car seat safety. Perhaps your cousin is aware of the talk (that says 2 yr olds are safer with a seatbelt) and perhaps she was also aware that legally you can make short emergency journeys without a car seat. If she was aware of both those facts and in pain, I can see why your response didn't go down well.

zzzzz Wed 06-Aug-14 11:26:12

It isn't illegal or particularly unsafe.


ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 11:32:42


I wouldn't have taken them without a car seat either. The chances of getting in an accident may be tiny, but it's not one I'd be happy to take.

Particularly given that she was safely at her mum's house and was just having to wait slightly longer than expected for her DP.

Mckayz Wed 06-Aug-14 11:32:51

Thank you Charley. It is illegal. And very unsafe zzzz hence the reason for car seats.

Letthemtalk Wed 06-Aug-14 11:33:16

I would have taken them. Shoot me.

zzzzz Wed 06-Aug-14 12:09:52

ok have googled and you do have to be 3 to travel in a private car like this. I guess you should have called her a cab, then she could do it safely confused

I DON'T agree that it is particularly unsafe, given the vast majority of us where never in a car seat at all and seemed to have survived to adulthood.

For me I would have given her a lift, but I would use a car seat for routine journeys.

puntasticusername Wed 06-Aug-14 12:23:53

Hmm. I don't think OP was BU but the issue isn't clear cut - as has been said further up the thread, people's perceptions of risk aren't always foolproof. There's at least one expert commentator who believes we should repeal the law requiring us all to wear seat belts.

LL12 Wed 06-Aug-14 12:28:23

You did the right thing OP

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 12:33:31

Only read the OP and a few posts, so apologise if this has already been said. YANBU.

This also wasn't a emergency, the mother was bored being bored does not equate to being an emergency.

I wouldn't have done it either OP, and I'd be sending your cousin a few strong worded text saying her behaviour was completely unacceptable and until she apologises, we would no longer be on mutual terms, have a broken leg does not mean you can treat people with utter contempt

brokenhearted55a Wed 06-Aug-14 12:35:56

I thought the driver got fined for passengers who were not appropriately restrained.

Presumably your cousin would have paid that fine had you been caught?


flowery Wed 06-Aug-14 12:40:33

"When I was a kid no one had car seats. There weren't even seatbelts in the back. I never heard of anyone killed or injured."

that may be among the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Road fatalities historical statistics. Rear seat belts became compulsory for children in 1989 - see the big drop in fatalities?

That graph would be even more staggering if it showed the corresponding increase in numbers of cars, in inverse proportion to the number of accidents.

Viviennemary Wed 06-Aug-14 12:44:51

YANBU because if you had an accident then wouldn't you be liable as the driver for allowing the child without a car seat. So how can taxis get away with not having car seats.

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 12:46:07

People going on about taxi's/buses etc... There is restrictions even with cab drivers, back seat only, public liability insurance, not just normal insurance and also this wasn't an emergency, so if the OP did have a accident on the way home, who do you think would be at blame, the person responsible for the vehicle or the stroppy bored mother!!!

Of courses busses have windows, but statistically die to the weight and sheer size of buses and the way buses are designed, serious injury is dramatically less than those travelling in a car.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 12:58:28

Thank you everyone for your replies. As I said a few pages ago you can disagree with someone without being nasty to them and there are some posters who have done that.

I am genuinely failing to see why I am being called precious, self righteous and smug. It wasn't as if I was laughing in my cousins face teasing her ffs. If I had have taken them home and ended up in an accident were the child was hurt you would be telling me I was bu taking the child out without a car seat, wouldn't you? hmm

I'm not a confident driver, have only been on the road for 3 months, I don't think it was worth the risk.

chockbic Wed 06-Aug-14 13:01:23

She is most likely being tetchy because of her leg.

Hope you can sort things out with her.

amyhamster Wed 06-Aug-14 13:10:50

Technically legal or not its about leaving someone with a broken leg and a kid without transport

Ha ha
What for ten minutes??
She wasn't stranded - she chose to go to her Aunts house & knew she could get a lift home with her dp

She just chose to throw a strop

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 13:21:45

Why are people still saying it's not illegal. I even provided links <wails>

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 13:37:55

"Technically legal or not its about leaving someone with a broken leg and a kid without transport"

She wasn't leaving a kid or someone with a broken leg without transport at all, her husband was coming for her, I'd say if she could cope at home alone with a toddler with a broken leg, then she sure as hell had coped with sticking to the original arrangements without putting her child at risk.

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 13:46:24

In fact OP I would say it would have been totally irresponsible of you to leave a toddler with a mum with a broken leg home alone.

flowery Wed 06-Aug-14 13:50:38

"It doesn't matter what the likelihood of an accident is. Once the accident has happened it won't be much consolation that you were just very unlucky."

This. You just wouldn't be able to live with yourself would you?

idontlikealdi Wed 06-Aug-14 14:00:01

As the driver of the car its your responsibility to ensure that children are in the correct restraints / seats. It would be you who would be prosecuted if stopped, not your cousin.

I wouldn't consider it for an instant. YANBU.

puntasticusername Wed 06-Aug-14 14:27:36

flowery do read the link I posted at 1223, though. As with so many things - "it's more complicated than that".

flowery Wed 06-Aug-14 15:01:38

Oh I'm sure it is, and will have a look later, but the idea that kids bouncing around in the back without seat belts is fine because we all used to do it and the poster in question didn't know anyone personally who had been killed seemed a bit daft to me.

puntasticusername Wed 06-Aug-14 15:05:16

Oh yes, undoubtedly - the plural of "anecdote" not being data! smile

flowery Wed 06-Aug-14 15:12:41


FraidyCat Wed 06-Aug-14 15:29:02

Queenofthemountain What a load of ignorant claptrap!

I mostly agree with Queenofthemountain. My only concern would have been the law. I disagree that a one-off journey is dangerous. Even if lack of car seat trebled the risk, 3 x negligible = negligible. I think most of the people unwilling to take "any" risk are simply incapable of thinking probabilistically.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 15:40:38

I'd have taken them

<soft touch>

Ten mins can seem a life time with a toddler playing up.

No need for the swearing though. That was vU

Or maybe they just think it is never worth gambling with a child's life.....

IceBeing Wed 06-Aug-14 15:48:59

YANBU is also a complete sentence.

IceBeing Wed 06-Aug-14 15:50:58

fraidy and queen okay so lets suppose we accept the 1:62 million chance of an accident is correct.

I offer you a tablet to give to your kid. It has no benefit (except keeping your child quiet for 10 mins while they chew it) but 1 in 62 million chance of killing them stone dead. Do you take it?

slithytove Wed 06-Aug-14 16:02:06

I wonder how many people saying they would do this have lost a child in an rta.

slithytove Wed 06-Aug-14 16:02:39

Stand in front of a mother who has, and swear blind that you would take your child out without a car seat.

I'd be shocked if anyone could.

drspouse Wed 06-Aug-14 16:26:59

And if you book a private hire car here (as opposed to black cabs) they will bring a child seat.

I don't know where you are, but we just tried to book a taxi to take us from Manchester airport to our home, about an hour away, motorway driving. Though we have found a helpful company, they told us it was "illegal" for them to provide a car seat and "legal" to transport our toddler DS without one.

Now, I've booked a private hire in London with a toddler seat, so unless the other company was breaking the law, it isn't illegal. But it took me ages to find that company (I was going about 5 miles on main roads, so was not going to risk a black cab with buggy, as was suggested to me). So from my experience, very few provide them, and some think they aren't allowed to.

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 16:28:10

I went outside when I was 8 years of age and played Kirkby with my sister, on a rural road back end of nowhere, the next thing I knew I woke in hospital with a titanium rod in my leg as a femur bone, as some drunken asshole thought he was amazingly cleaver to joy ride on the rural roads of the highlands.

Imagine my poor fathers face when he looked outside his bedroom window to see me flying above our second story window, hit the ground and allot of my bones piercing through my skin...

What statistical category would I have been, rural, farm land, no house or shop for miles....

It only takes one asshole to answer his mobile phone, drink drive, over tired, drop something and pick t up, a speeding prick....

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 16:40:52

Where does this 1:62 million chance of an accident come from?

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least 5 people I know who've had car accidents (mostly minor, and most likely seat belts were in use) wiithin 2 miles of home. Give me a bit more time to think and I could probably come up with more.

Do I know lots of unfortunate / careless drivers or am I missing something about that statistic?

AlexVause82 Wed 06-Aug-14 16:51:53


What if she had been having a heart attack and the hospital was down the road?

I am assuming that you mean the mother having the hypothetical heart attack? If so, why would the child need to go with her.

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 16:57:15

Surely if she was having a heart attack you'd leave the child at the aunt's house with an adult (such as the aunt), rather than drag it to a&e?

slithytove Wed 06-Aug-14 17:13:27

Plus, you know, heart attack = ambulance I would have thought

Thread is veering into the ridiculous now

lurkerspeaks Wed 06-Aug-14 17:40:37

I wouldn't have done it.


Not an emergency and consequences of an accident could be v. High.

SquattingNeville Wed 06-Aug-14 17:48:40

YANBU and contrary to what queen says, it IS illegal for an under 3 to travel without a car seat regardless of the circumstances if the OP isn't driving a minicab or taxi, which I assume she isn't.

The Law <ominous thunderclaps>

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 17:53:17

Thank you all smile

Have to laugh at some of these comments though, sorry. The way some of you are posting it's as if I have left her stranded in the Sahara desert grin

MyFairyKing Wed 06-Aug-14 18:46:36

I know Nat, typical MN dramatics. She was left at her mother's house for an extra 10 mins FFS. Some people are acting like you left her stranded in a warehouse with no access to life saving medication for her child!

queenofthemountain Wed 06-Aug-14 18:59:16

In this area the police force have been advised that the law on car seats is un enforceable, because they do not have the legal right to measure a child nor demand its DOB

PopularNamesInclude Wed 06-Aug-14 19:08:39

YABU. As many have pointed out, it's absolutely legal to take a child on a short, one-off journey without a carseat. It doesn't need to be an emergency.

You were being precious.

However, she had no business losing it and swearing at you. You may have been self-righteous and tacitly accusing her of poor parenting, but it's your call whether or not she rides in your car, and after asking once and being told 'no', she should have left it.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:12:34

Please will someone explain what being "precious" is? I have been called it so many times in this thread and dont understand why? Because I was concerned about the safety of a child? confused

FloatIsRechargedNow Wed 06-Aug-14 19:14:45

Precious = "Because I was concerned about the safety of a child?"

FloatIsRechargedNow Wed 06-Aug-14 19:16:20

Like you actually think you are the only one? It's mumsnet, 99.769% of posters are so concerned.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:20:55

Sorry float you will have to explain more I am still confused.

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 19:23:46

I can see how the law might be unenforceable as regards older children, as it may be unclear whether an older child is over 12 / minimum height at a glance.

However. A typical 2 yr old is quite clearly within the age and height range where car seats are mandatory. Does the police officer really need to measure and get the dob for an infant or toddler before enforcement action is taken? (genuine question btw)

Altinkum Wed 06-Aug-14 19:27:25

"YABU. As many have pointed out, it's absolutely legal to take a child on a short, one-off journey without a carseat. It doesn't need to be an emergency."

Precious you are incorrect!

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:31:09

And how on earth did I accuse her of bad parenting? confused when did that even come into the equation? I happen to think she is a fantastic parent.

Are posters always this pleasant on mn?

SquattingNeville Wed 06-Aug-14 19:33:45

Oh it's un-enforcable? <chucks out car seat>

Mckayz Wed 06-Aug-14 19:38:05

Popular "YABU. As many have pointed out, it's absolutely legal to take a child on a short, one-off journey without a carseat. It doesn't need to be an emergency. " this is crap. Please read up on the law before you spout shit.

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 19:39:27

AIBU can get quite heated at times.

Other parts of mn tend to be more polite.

SquattingNeville Wed 06-Aug-14 19:41:01

To help out Mckayz point, added my own bold:

"Unexpected journeys
If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

over a short distance
You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab). "

JoyceDivision Wed 06-Aug-14 19:42:03

Op, YADNBU, I wouldn't take a child in my car without the apprpriate car seat.

My dad was a fireman throught 80's and 90's and he has spent a fair amount of time at RTAs cutting people out of cars and helping collect people (or bits of them) off the ground at scenes of RTAs, often when no seatbelts had been worn.

If your cousin was happy to have no car seat and no seatbelt 9saying she'd hold her dc on her lap) then more fool her.

I hope you don't bother getting in touch with her until she apologises for the way she behaved. She already had a lift, it wasn't urgent, she hadno car seat, she wasn't going to use a seatbelt... hope she realises how rude she was and says so.

well done op for not being pestered into something you weren't comfortable with.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:42:33

shadow yes, I'm beginning to see that. I also see that some posters start making things up and/or twist what somebody has said!

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:45:16

To all the other posters who have responded politely, even if you didn't agree with me but were still polite, thank you smile

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 19:54:49

You left this woman, with her 2 yo, in the comfort of her own mother's home for around ten minutes?
How do you sleep at night?

Ffs! It was not an urgent journey.
If a collision had occurred the child could have been seriously injured or worse. You did the right thing. Your cousin was (hopefully temporarily) unhinged.
Why on earth do ppl think the laws on seat belts/ car seats were brought in?
YWNBU (obviously)

Euphemia Wed 06-Aug-14 21:25:57

It makes me mad when people trot out the old "We never wore seatbelts when I was a kid, and we all lived to tell the tale" rubbish.

Firstly, there were far fewer cars on the road:

In 1970, nearly half (48 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.
In 2008, just over a fifth (22 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.

Secondly, of course all children did not live to tell the tale! What a stupid thing to say - are you seriously saying that it's okay not to use the correct child restraint because none of us died in childhood?!

redexpat Wed 06-Aug-14 21:30:12

This is from I've bolded some of it.

Unexpected journeys

If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

over a short distance

You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab).

SO I think you would have been legally ok if the 2yo was wearing a seat belt, but YANBU. Your car, you're the driver, you say what goes and what doesnt, and good for you for erring on the side of caution so soon after you've passed your test.

Having said all that I'd try and forgive the cousin, it sounds as if she had just had enough, was getting stressed and took it out on you.

SquattingNeville Wed 06-Aug-14 21:33:55

red I took it to mean as an under three both has to been in a car seat, and that car seat has to be secured by a seatbelt.

ThisFenceIsComfy Wed 06-Aug-14 21:42:44

So from that information, it would have been illegal to take her DS as he is only two.

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 21:46:31

Agree, Euphemia.

Children who didn't live to tell the tale are hardly going to be posting on mumsnet about it x years later.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 21:49:26

Depends how old the Ds is though. If he was over three then the 2 yr old could have had the seat and the other kid the belt. And no laws broken.

Obviously the ops choice though , her car.

And they weren't on the side of the road in the snow or anything.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 21:57:47

Omg. Would i take my 3yo in my car without his carseat so that my verbally abusive cousin didn't have to wait for a lift home from her mum's?

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 21:59:35

I thought there was only one child? The 2 yr old dn?

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 22:00:56

And seconding what TheRealAmandaClarke just said....

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 22:02:41

It's hard to tell because "spare" could mean "another one"
Which could mean one was in use.

But no one should do anything they weren't comfortable with.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 22:05:42

Just the one child, my cousin's ds. My aunt usually has a car seat in her house as she has lots of grandchildren but my other cousin was using it.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 22:17:56

I think you did the right thing.
You acted in the best interests of the child.
Im not sure why anyone would have a problem with that.

SureFootedWhispher Wed 06-Aug-14 22:26:34

I can think of about 6 tributes within 10 minutes of our house to car crash victims.

I wouldn't have done it.

flappityfanjos Wed 06-Aug-14 22:56:46

From some of the posts on here anyone would think the OP left this woman stranded in the middle of nowhere with no other way to get home. Her partner was just a little later picking her up than expected. This wasn't a necessary trip, let alone an emergency.

In the cousin's shoes I don't think I'd even ask for a lift. Let alone call someone a fucking prick for not giving me one. And yes, I have been in pain, stressed out and barely able to walk. I still wouldn't be getting up in someone's face about driving me home, I'd be asking my mum to take my stroppy toddler into the garden. There were adults around to help with the fractious child - how much better was it actually going to be at home alone with the kid?

Setting aside the legality for a moment, the OP is a new driver and was worried about a small child's safety. She is not obliged to do things that make her uncomfortable, and that really isn't precious or self-righteous (seriously, what do some of you think, that she said no purely to score good-mummy points over her cousin?). If a driver feels something is unsafe, they shouldn't do it. So some of you are heroes who would never let a mother and child be inconvenienced by having to wait ten more minutes in a safe and welcoming house. Well done you.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 23:58:13

I'm sure my posts are invisible. I posted what red posted pages back.

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Aug-14 00:36:19

Morphine, I often think that too! grin But I think it's when people read the first few posts then skip to the end and read the last few posts to see what's changed - they miss all the valuable information in the middle, so you end up being "ignored" in favour of the latest poster of the same info. It's a touch annoying but just the nature of the beast, especially when there are quite a few posts.

Catkinwillow Thu 07-Aug-14 01:17:24

SolidGoldBrass you were standing there with a smug self-righteous face on going oooh, no, more than my job's worth. Do you not get how fucking maddening that sort of attitude is to someone who is in pain and stressed out?

How do you know what look the OP had on her face - were you there at the time? It might be fucking maddening although I don't see why, but why the hell should the OP risk being involved in an accident, being blamed and prosecuted if there was one and the child/mother was injured? Just because her cousin was in a bad temper? Get real!

redexpat Thu 07-Aug-14 13:57:06

morphine i thought that too! It was such a good point i was getting ctoss that people werent seeing it!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now