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to ring the police about a woman with an unrestrained toddler in her car?

(31 Posts)
ILoveYouToo Fri 03-Jun-11 11:11:21

Yesterday at the level crossing, the car in front had a toddler in the back, not restrained in a car seat. She was roaming across the back seat and was opening and closing the windows, which were the hinged ones which open outwards. I was a bit shock because she looked as if she was going to get her fingers trapped in the hinge, which she was holding. The mum looked partly over her shoulder and in her mirror several times, but didn't do anything. I was quite hmm that she wasn't in a seat. We were at the crossing for around 5 mins, after which the woman drove off and turned immediately left (so I lost sight of her at that point).

WIBU to ring the community police office and give them her car details, so they can go round and have a word about car safety? Or would that make me a right meddling cow? grin She was already at the crossing when I pulled up behind her, and I did think 'Oh maybe the toddler let herself out of her seat when they stopped at the crossing and they only live round the corner so the mum thought it wasn't worth the bother of putting her back into it?'


StewieGriffinsMom Fri 03-Jun-11 11:13:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olibeansmummy Fri 03-Jun-11 11:38:48

we rang the police (just local number not 999 obviously) when we saw someone with a toddler STOOD on the front seat holding onto the dashboard, so obviously no car seat or even seatbelt. Doubt they did anything though especially as they were obviously travellers and the police don't deal with them.

squeakytoy Fri 03-Jun-11 12:56:53

Toddlers get out of seats quite easily. She possibly turned left straight away so that she could pull up and put the child back into its seat.

thegruffalosma Fri 03-Jun-11 13:04:26

I would. If there was a legitimate reason she can tell her side of the story (or lie if there wasn't). Hopefully, though, if she never puts her toddler in a seat and thinks that no members of the public will report her she will think again.

plupervert Fri 03-Jun-11 13:14:45

I once drove THREE METRES with DS not in a car seat (re-parking a car to make space, wanting to keep DS out of the way of the wheels, etc.).


Never again. Never mind that DS was hysterical; I was pretty damned unnerved myself! There are so many levers and switches in a car, any one of which can create a terrible distraction (sudden blare of music, car going out of gear, car going into gear and stalling, steering wheel's being knocked).

Horrible. I can't imagine why people want to do it.

(Disclaimer: I do have a grumpy child, who takes against things, and gets panicked when he is frightened, but even if you have a "little angel", they cannot be trusted not to be unpredictable.)

pregnantpause Fri 03-Jun-11 13:23:45

Not interfering at all! If we all close our eyes to such neglect- and it is neglect in a form, then where would we be? well done to you. you did the right thing!

sunshineandbooks Fri 03-Jun-11 13:24:22

What can the police do realistically? Unless there is a legitimate explanation for this, this woman has simply chosen to ignore road safety advice - it's extremely unlikely that she doesn't know about the danger. I doubt a telling off from the police will make a difference, though it may change her behaviour in the short-term, which may at least be something I suppose. Your call really.

Reminds me of when I was doing 70 on a dual carriageway, glanced in the rearview mirror and realised my then 2-year-old DTs had managed to undo their safety straps. No hard shoulder to pull in on. Was the longest 45 seconds of my life before I could pull over and stop. Ugh!

<sunshine is totally unhelpful>

thegruffalosma Fri 03-Jun-11 13:26:01

Isn't it against the law not to have a child in the correct restraint unless it is an emergency and they are over 3 or something?

keepingupwiththejoneses Fri 03-Jun-11 13:32:28

It is not road safety advice it is law.

sunshineandbooks Fri 03-Jun-11 13:57:02

Yes is it the law and the woman is wrong, but there is no way that the police would prosecute under these circumstances.

Callisto Fri 03-Jun-11 14:03:38

I called the police (non-emergency number) when I saw a woman with a baby on her lap in the passenger seat - and the police didn't dismiss me as a nosey nutter, they were very interested and told me they would be paying the woman/car owner a visit. So no, YANBU.

KaraStarbuckThrace Fri 03-Jun-11 14:12:35

I think the police would have to catch them in the act to prosecute.
But if you reported it they would follow it up. And so they should! Apart from (as you say) emergencies, no excuse to be driving around with an unrestrained child.

Child morbidity and mortality was drastically reduced when car seats were made mandatory, I think about 30 years ago?
And the roads are much busier nowadays so you are more likely to be involved in a collision.

Sunshine - eek how scary!!

MissVerinder Fri 03-Jun-11 14:18:22

My DP frequently puts DD in the front seat without her car seat (seatbelt on) when I'm not in the car. I wish someone would call the police on him. I have gone over and over it again and again, and judging by the crumbs on the front seat this morning, I think he's done it again. I am now banning him from driving her alone in the car.
There might be a reasonable explanation, there might not. I think the police would at least have a word.

scurryfunge Fri 03-Jun-11 14:23:30

"Doubt they did anything though especially as they were obviously travellers and the police don't deal with them."

what a ridiculous and untrue comment.

Greenstocking Fri 03-Jun-11 14:27:16

It's not good but I am shock at the hysteria shown here about driving thirty yards with an unrestrained child.

Back in the Seventies we'd travel for hours lying on the back seat, along the parcelshelf and under the footwell.

I'm glad that is no longer general practice but it does pay to have a touch of perspective.

sausagesandmarmelade Fri 03-Jun-11 14:29:52

Ring them definitely

eurochick Fri 03-Jun-11 14:31:50

I completely agree with Greenstocking. I can remember sliding the full length of the back seat as my dad went round roundabouts in the 70s and 80s!

It's great that there are means of protecting a child in a car now but some perspective is needed.

shirleyshortcut Fri 03-Jun-11 14:32:36

agree greenstocking, and to be fair cars in the 70s were a hell of a lot less safe than they are today

montmartre Fri 03-Jun-11 14:37:17

I see children unrestrained all the time- who do you call? Local police number?

wudu Fri 03-Jun-11 14:40:28

YANBU at all. If a child is at risk, it is all of our business.

I doubt the police could do anything if they didn't 'catch them in the act' so to speak, but it could be enough of a near escape that they don't do it again.

I saw a tiny baby in a first stage, should be rear-facing car seat, in the front seat of a car, facing forwards shock outside our local nursery.

I told the nursery staff, who knew straight away who it was as they'd been informed the day before of it, but said they couldn't do anything about it wasn't their place hmm

Bollocks to that! If I'd have seen them again, I would have told them myself! My place or not!

thegruffalosma Fri 03-Jun-11 14:43:35

greenstocking I am shock that you are shock. You may well have enjoyed rattling around the back of your parents car - you may have a different perspective if you'd gone through the windscreen. Times have changed, safety advice/technology is better and there are a lot more cars on the roads. Strange thing to be wistful about tbh.

Ephiny Fri 03-Jun-11 14:50:57

I often see unrestrained children in cars near where I live, it hadn't occurred to me to report to the police though I don't like to see it. Most of all I'd like to report all the idiots driving around chatting on their phones (especially the one who went sailing past me at a zebra crossing the other day, completely oblivious to my existence), and the parents who let their little kids toddle around unsupervised in the road all afternoon. All these things though are difficult to prove after the fact...

LadyWord Fri 03-Jun-11 14:52:17

Well true greenstocking, we were the same in the 70s, but we weren't among the many children/people who didn't live to tell the tale from the days of no seatbelts/child seats.

People who can say "I spent my childhood rattling around in the back of a ford escort and it never did me any harm" are kind of a self-selecting sample aren't they.

feedthegoat Fri 03-Jun-11 14:53:04

What sort of car was it? It is just that hinged windows being mentioned made me wonder if it is perhaps some sort of vintage/old car?

If so it probably doesn't even have rear belts.

A friend of mine has just bought an old beetle which didn't have belts. She checked and it is not illegal to carry children unbelted if non available.

Whether it is right to do so is another matter and I admit that I declined a lift when with ds and told her I wouldn't be happy to use the car without belts. She has now had them fitted btw. But the fact remains that it is not against the law.

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