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Was IBU to have called the police re car seat?

(77 Posts)

Parked in sainsburys p&c space this morning, loading my shopping into boot when another car parks alongside me with a toddler, around 18 months / 2 years in back seat completely unrestrained. Not even a car seat in the car, not even an adult seatbelt round the child. Hoicked my judgy pants, finished loading my shopping, drove out of my space then started thinking, if they've not even bothered to get a car seat for the child, what else don't they do? Child had been left in car with a woman while two other adults went into shop. So I rang the police non emergency number. Waited a few mins, police turned up. Now I'm wondering if I was OTT? Should I have spoken to them myself? Not involved the police? Not sure whether to feel proud or silly? Was IBU?

FireOverBabylon Mon 08-Oct-12 13:16:32

I don't know that you were. I probably wouldn't have been brave enough but good for you - what the hell were they thinking with a toddler cannonballing around in the back of the car.

What happened when the police arrived?

SchrodingersMew Mon 08-Oct-12 13:16:38

I don't know really. I wish I had done this yesterday, we were at a shopping centre with MIL and when we were going into the car park there was a car in front of us with a child in the back (about 4yo maybe) completely unrestrained. I was horrified but didn't even think of calling the police.

I think, what you have done was the right thing as the child could have had a serious accident.

FolkGhoul Mon 08-Oct-12 13:18:59

Well they didn't think you were being OTT.

They sent some officers round to see.

I think you did the right thing.

honeytea Mon 08-Oct-12 13:19:06

I don't think ywbu, I think unfortunately they wouldn't have taken any notice if you had told them they needed a car seat, I'm sure they are aware they should have afar seat. Hopefully the visit from tge police will make them behave a little more responsibly.

ThatBloodyKnid Mon 08-Oct-12 13:20:31

You did the right thing!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Oct-12 13:21:18


Its illegal, because its dangerous. You were correct to use the non-emergency number, of course, you didn't overreact and call 999. The police obviously thought it was worth attending to pronto.

You should be proud of yourself for taking the time to bother.

TM08 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:21:59

Hmmm, on the fence with this one.

When i was younger, me and my five siblings would be bunged in the car any way we'd fit. I often had to sit on my sister's lap, and my dad would say 'quick, head down, there's the police.' grin

But these days, with their grandchildren, they are very safety-conscious. All the proper car seats and booster seats etc.

FolkGhoul Mon 08-Oct-12 13:26:03

I don't really see what your point is though, TM08.

My parents used to put my brother and I on the back seats in our carry cot and thought they were being over cautious by putting the seat belt around it.

But carrying a child today without a carseat is illegal.

I'm joining TM on the fence!!

Just remembering the days when I was a seats didn't even exist although of course road travel was safer as there wasn't so much traffic in the 70's as there is now.

If it had bothered me that much I probably would have just knocked on the window and spoken to whomever was in the car to be honest...maybe it was the mum and kid left in the car who were being given a lift and so just for once didn't have the car seat on them.

TM08 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:27:16

Ah, Folkghoul, i thought it had always been illegal. That's why i was confused why it was seemingly acceptable to do it in the 'old days', but not now.

Fakebook Mon 08-Oct-12 13:28:24

I don't know. They might have been on the way to buy a carseat? I wouldn't have had the guts to phone the police about something like this.

Yes TM08 I was never put in a car seat as a child either, and nothing happened to me, which is why on reflection I wonder if I was OTT. But the police did arrive quickly. I didn't hang around to see what happened, my ds needed to get home for his nap. But I did think surely Everyone knows a car seat is required, and is aware of the dangers of not having one, and if you can ignore that then maybe there's other child protection issues?

Kingcyrolophosarus Mon 08-Oct-12 13:29:41

TM08- there are 30 million more cars in the road now
It's a different time, you can't compare

ThatBloodyKnid Mon 08-Oct-12 13:29:52

I too remember the days of no car seats (or even seatbelts) - but to be honest that's totally irrelevant. Yes, we survived, but other children didn't.

CrackerJackShack Mon 08-Oct-12 13:32:24

YANBU. Where I live 98% of children aren't buckled in, as a result the #1 cause of child death is car accidents, even though the gov't hospitals GIVE parents car seats when they give birth. When you hear about ANOTHER family of 6 dying because none of the kids were buckled in, you want to scream and hit something.

FolkGhoul Mon 08-Oct-12 13:32:32

No, I don't think it was always illegal.

Don't know.

I don't even know how long car seats have been around for but we didn't have them.

But seatbelts being compulsory in the back is a relatively recent thing. Apparently rear seatbelts for children didn't become mandatory until 1989. But I couldn't see anything else.

There is a time line here detailing "How belting up became law" - if you're bored...

Bamaluz Mon 08-Oct-12 13:33:18

Well I was never put in a car seat as a child either, and the only reason nothing happened to me is because we never crashed. If I had been in a car accident I probably wouldn't be here to say anything.
I think you did the right thing, as did the police.

ChaosTrulyReigns Mon 08-Oct-12 13:33:27

Hang on a OutragedOfTunbridge minute!

They parked in a p&c space and left the DC in the car?

And you called the police over lack of car seat?

You need to reassess your priroties.


MrClaypole Mon 08-Oct-12 13:35:01


I called the police when I saw a 2 seater car driving off with small child sitting on it's mum's knee in the passenger seat.

I don't care if anyone thinks I'm a busybody, it wasn't safe!

Songbird Mon 08-Oct-12 13:35:20

Can never understand this. No-one would put a priceless Ming vase loose in the back of a car! You definitely did the right thing, and the police obviously agreed. Well done smile

ChaosTrulyReigns Mon 08-Oct-12 13:36:05

Fwiw, it makes me nauseous to see DC unbunckled and bouncing around - especially if the adults have their belts on. That gives me the rage.

Inneedofbrandy Mon 08-Oct-12 13:36:33

It's not actually illegal to travel without a carseat. I can't link but there is a loophole to do with one off trips, that why you don't need one in a taxi.

cakeandcava Mon 08-Oct-12 13:36:48

Way more children died in car accidents 'back in the days' before this started to be taken seriously. The 'never did me any harm' argument is really silly - it did plenty of others harm.

OP I don't think YWBU -well done!

chicaguapa Mon 08-Oct-12 13:37:04

YANBU. I would have done the same. I'm glad they were in a car park and not driving, so they were still there when the police arrived. Were you not the tiniest bit tempted to hide around the corner and watch the proceedings? grin

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