To say something to my friend?(8 Posts)
We are not that close, really. We used to work together, have stayed in touch and sometimes meet up for coffee and shopping. We usually arrive at where we are meeting separately but this time she drove me.
On Sunday we went for lunch and then took her 1 year old and my 3 year old to the park. When she picked me I was putting my child in his seat and I noticed her child wasn't properly strapped in to the carseat. Her straps were loose and she had on one of those fluffy animal suits. I pulled them a bit tighter but didn't say anything to my friend.
Then when I got in to the passenger seat I noticed she had her dog sat on her lap! It's small, maybe about 15lbs. I asked her if she wanted me to hold the dog or put him down by my feet but she said no, he was fine on her lap.
I really should have got out of the car at the point but I am an idiot and stayed. Anyway, she started driving and her window was down a little and the dog started going crazy! He was barking at the window and then he jumped up! He then jumped on to my lap, then in to the backseats where the children were and then back on to my friends lap where he stood with his paws on the wheel! She didn't even blink, just said "Oh, dear. He doesn't like the wind in his face! Ha ha ha!" After that I held on to him so he couldn't jump anywhere.
Anyway, I am horrified. I want to tell her that what she as doing was so dangerous. I want to tell her that her dog should be strapped in with his own seatbelt or in a cage or something. I mean what if there was an accident? That dog would become a projectile! He could kill someone as well as be killed. Then what if he was in the road and caused more accidents? I know there is no law regarding this but surely it is sensible? I know I would want my dog to be restrained, for his own safety and ours.
My partner thinks I shouldn't say anything, that I should just not travel in a car with her again and let her get on with it.
Only you can gauge how well you friend may take any comments you make.
Maybe check online for dog car harnesses and mention to her along the lines of "I saw on TV/in a shop/ in a magazine about doggy seatbelts have you thought about getting one for Fido"
Also I would have to mention about the child in the car seat, separate conversation though!
People who don't restrain their animals in some way during car journeys are idiots. I once witnessed an accident where one driver had two small dogs loose in the car - one dog was crushed by the drivers body against the steering wheel and the other dog was launched outside the car and found missing it's head. Gruesome and awful. You would keep the human members of your family safe with seatbelts so why not the furry ones?
You should say something. Dancing's way sounds good, especially if she would get angry or defensive if approached directly. Hopefully she would see sense.
I'm with your partner on this. Just don't travel with her again. What makes you think you should even tell her something like this and you say you are not even close. I would just leave it and rather meet her at places than travelling with her.
> I know there is no law regarding this
What makes you think that? There's an offence "driving without due care and attention" for a start.
When we first got a dog, I remember my MIL telling me that it was illegal to have the dog in the front of the car - to be honest, I just took her at her word, and never checked up on this, but it certainly seems common sense to me that you shouldn't have an unrestrained animal in the front of the car, where they could distract the driver and cause an accident.
I know that MN is very scathing at the moment, when posters suggest an OP should contact the police, but in this instance, I think a call to the non-emergency number or your local station would be a good idea. I would describe what you saw yesterday, and ask their opinion. They might even send round an officer to have a word with her.
I don't think this is a trivial matter, and I think your partner is absolutely wrong. What if she has an accident tomorrow, because the dog goes nuts in the front of the car, and she kills or seriously injures someone? If you have either spoken to her yourself, or have spoken to the police and either they or you have then spoken to her, you will know that you have done whatever you could to prevent the accident.
There isn't a specific law stating that you must restrain your animals is what I meant. I can't point her towards something that specifically says you must do it. If I say about the due care and attention she will probably just say that she was paying attention, that she has never crashed before etc.
We are meeting up again tomorrow so I think I will have to say something then. Phoning the non-emergency police instead of speaking to her myself might be an option but I worry that she would find out I was the one who rang and want to retaliate... with the industry we work in she has the potential to ruin my job.
If something did happen I would feel awful that I knew about it and could perhaps have prevented it?
Could you be blunt with her? Tell her that her dog's behaviour has the very real risk of causing an accident, and ask her how she would feel if she injured or killed someone else. And say that, if she is going to carry on with this dangerous driving, she should, at the very least insure that her child is strapped in properly, so they have a better chance of coming away from the accident unscathed. And point out that, in an accident, her beloved dog will turn into a projectile within the car, and even if no-one else in the car is hurt, her dog could be badly hurt or even killed.
And I would tell her that, if she is going to carry on driving dangerously, you will report her to the police.
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