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Friend breaking driving laws

(17 Posts)
quietnight Wed 27-Jul-11 15:54:50

Am I BU to not have said anything ( or very little) about it to her yet? It's such an awkward situation but her attitude to safety of her children and other passangers is shocking.

We've been close friends for nearly a year now, since our children started reception together. On the whole, she is a good mum to her 6, 5 and 1 year olds but over the last few months I found she just doesn't get it , seems oblivious that her habits as a driver are shocking and illegal.

She does use a baby seat for her one year old but completely disregards the need of her older children to have booster seats. She owns a couple, as I asked for them when giving her children a lift, and she handed them over but I could tell she thought I was a pain for asking ! I since refused to ever have her daughter in my car , as she kept undoing her seatbelt when we were on a busy 50 m/h road with nowhere easy to pull over.

I would like to elaborate on all the details, circumstances but have not got much time but really want to post this thread at last, have been musing about it for ages.

All I would say is that I was with her in the car , on a motorway, when her children, without booster seats to start with, undid their seatbelts and jumped about at the back. She was mildly annoyed but did nothing about it untill we arrived at the destination 15 min later. I was shocked speechless and worried that my five year old, strapped on his booster, who would never dream about undoing his seatbelt, would get an idea, copy them.

Another day, our kids at school, she invited me to join her, her mum and the baby on a shopping trip to a wholesale place. Two hour round trip on a motorway. On the way back, her mobile rings and she answers it without a second thought, like it's a most normal thing to do. A trivial phone call lasting about five minutes. Here we are, her baby , her mum, myself, car very overloaded with heavy shopping, traffic very busy but not stationary, cars zooming past on both sides, 70 m/h. I was deeply shocked and just praying.

I don't want to get into her car ever again, I want to tell her how irresponsible, downright stupid she is,even criminal.

But I cannot really imagine saying that, even in a kindest way and her not get very offended and starting to hate me ( she has quite a collection of people she hates, other mums, teachers, because they said something that upset her in the past, she doesn't let go ).

I wouldn't care , I 'm not so keen to be her friend any more after the above, but...... this is a person I would meet ever day on the school run, for years, so awkward to be faced every day with someone you were very close with and fell out. Other mums would quickly notice that, as we are known for being friends, long chats etc.

Arghhhh, so awkward, help.

BTW,I think she will always get away with her children not be properly restrained as her car ( people's carrier) has back windows tinted .

Sometimes I have thoughts of maybe letting police know, have a chat with her, for her children's sake, or is it an overreaction ? Gosh, she would kill me if I did that, I think she would guess it was me.

worldgonecrazy Wed 27-Jul-11 15:59:03

In that situation, I would drop her as a friend and, if she asked, tell her why. I have a thick skin though, so you may feel the need to be more diplomatic.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Jul-11 15:59:27

This is a time for straight talking rather than delegating it to the police. If you don't like her approach to car seats or using the phone etc. then tell her you don't like it. You can say it's dangerous and you worry she's going to get pulled up by the police or have a bad accident. She may blow up in your face but at least you're both on the same page rather than pretending everything's hunky-dory and stewing. If she carries on doing it, you say you're not happy to get in her car and you walk away.

Birdsgottafly Wed 27-Jul-11 16:02:38

She won't 'kill you', it doesn't matter if 'she hates you'.

You have the right to decide what is important to you, if you don't like her behaviour its a simple decision to either stay friends but not travel in the car with her or tell her straight and risk falling out with her.

It doesn't matter if people like you or not.

It is also your right to inform the police if you feel the DC's are in actual danger when travelling in the car.

quietnight Wed 27-Jul-11 16:06:22

I realize I'm a bit of a coward for not speaking my mind. Cogito, you are right, 'stewing' is what's been happening on my part, no good.
And I'm probably selfish for just wanting to keep things simple on the school run.

SarahStratton Wed 27-Jul-11 17:33:54

I'm afraid I'd bypass telling her and call the police. She sounds arrogant, and one of those people who can't be told. I'd forget her as a friend, anyone who has such a blatant disregard for their DCs' safety is too much of a tosser to bother with. But her DC do need someone to report her, before something happens.

You don't have to tell her it was you that reported her.

MissPenteuth Wed 27-Jul-11 17:38:21

From the sound of it I doubt that you talking to her would actually influence the way she drives, but I understand why you feel the need to say something. I wouldn't get in her car again though, especially not with your DS.

JamieAgain Wed 27-Jul-11 17:43:50

Don't let this lie. Seat belts and booster seats recently saved my DCs from serious injury. On a quiet road at low speed. She would never forgive herself if she had an accident.

Don't get in her car again, and tell her why. It's too important. I also agree that a word with the local police station might be what is needed - if she won't listen to you. Or could you call Crimestoppers?

spiderpig8 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:52:14

Don't have her DCin your car again and don't let her drive you or your kids.
I very much doubt anything you say will change her mind, in fact it will just make her more stubborn.

greencolorpack Wed 27-Jul-11 17:56:13

If you can't get through to the mum then tell the children, when mum's not around, a very long and graphic cautionary tale about seatbelts, not using them, flying through windcreen, broken glass, heads, etc.

My ds went through a phase of taking the seatbelt off and I told him in no uncertain terms what could happen. Now he gets panicky if the seatbelt is not on! He wouldn't dream of taking that risk now. It is worthwhile putting the fear of God into them.

You could be saving their lives. If their Mum's too irresponsible to care!!

greencolorpack Wed 27-Jul-11 17:57:46

If it had been my car I would have pulled over onto the hard shoulder, no ifs, no buts. Its your car, you're driving, you are the one the police will have dealings with if the people in the car are not safely restrained. Read your Highway Code.

dilbertina Wed 27-Jul-11 17:59:19

She does sound a nightmare. At a practical level could you get for her dc/suggest she gets something like this below? I know it wouldn't solve all the issues but might stop the children undoing belts at least. (If she'd use it of course!)

https://www.thebabycatalogue.com/products/car/safeclip-seat-belt-buckle-guard/BC349/

TheOriginalFAB Wed 27-Jul-11 18:01:24

I would drop her as a friend and never go in her car again. I wouldn't care about her ignoring me in the playground or what people said. I have had major fallings out with school mums and it doesn't bother me what anything thinks about me, they aren't my friends so I don't care for their opinions.

alowVera Wed 27-Jul-11 18:08:55

Thanks for that link dilbertina, I was after a couple of those. grin

ragged Wed 27-Jul-11 18:13:06

If it were me... I would avoid having her DC in my car or going in a car with her. And if she asked why I'd have to say the truth" I was very uncomfortable with various events (you'll have to give some specifics). I wouldn't choose to fall out with her completely about it, though.

quietnight Wed 27-Jul-11 19:20:41

Thank you all for your comments. Thanks for your link, dilbertina.

[JamieAgain], really happy for you your children were fine, still must have been a scary and upsetting incident.

I think I will have to brave it and bring the issue with her, have a serious talk why I wouldn't be getting in her car again unless she promises to change her ways, about my worry for her children.
I saw her son strapped without the booster and the seatbelt was cutting right across his neck, I think that's where the danger lies, the belt itself might be the cause of an injury, even if it's just an emergency stop.

By the way, she is comfortably well off to afford even more expensive car seats, so it is definitely not a question of cost. I think it is just plain ignorance, as she cares about her children much .
But I don't get it, she is an intelligent, articulate person , though yes, a bit on a gobby and arrogant side [if] you step on her toe. If she likes you, she is a great generous person towards you.

I can't really guess how she would react. I know she cares a lot about our friendship, maybe she will listen, maybe it will make her think twice before she reaches for that phone again, in the end it will always be down to her , noone can 'police' her on every journey. But I know I need to act and speak to her.

She is on holiday now , promised to call when she is back to ' go out somewhere with kids' and she would very likely suggest driving us all, have to think of a way to meet first and tell her face to face.

There must be something amiss in the way she brings her children in regards to safety. My DS , 5, would never just run out into the road ( obviously,I'm still very vigilant in case of possible distraction on his part) but both her children do it regularly, without a thought. She shouts at them, but they still do it a few days later. Luckily, no incident with a car yet, but only by pure luck that none happened to be passing !

HipHopOpotomus Wed 27-Jul-11 19:27:12

Talk to her or don't. If you really value the friendship you'll talk to her about this, if
Not just walk away.

Personally I'd not be able to do car trips with her or her kids.

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