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Following on from the hat thread - what about car seats?

(56 Posts)
dejags Fri 15-Jul-05 10:00:51

Would you say something if you saw somebody driving off with a 6 month old baby on someones lap in the front seat?

This makes me so angry and I have to confess I sometimes do say something, does this make me a nosey parker?

Elf1981 Fri 15-Jul-05 10:05:10

I get really wound up about this.
A friend of ours sold their car when they got a company van. It only has the front seat so he travels with his wife, and 2xDD aged 7 and 2 in the front. They do wear seatbelts but IMO DD2 should still be in some sort of car seat.
Couple of months ago, before she was 2, went out in the day with them (us in our car). We were sorting out travel arrangements and he suggested that me and DH took the two kids back in our car. I refused as they didn't have carseat for the youngest. Our friend pointed out that he didn't have one, so no matter what way she travelled, she'd have no car seat. My answer? "Well, I don't let kids travel in my car without a car seat. You're her father. If you insist on driving like that, theres nothing I can do about it. If you crash and she dies as she isn't in a car seat, it's on your conscience, not mine."
Didn't have much affect as he still doesn't use car seat. But makes me so cross! I beg he gets pulled over by the police one day, and is suspended from driving or something.

expatinscotland Fri 15-Jul-05 10:09:19

There's the small matter of it being illegal to have a child inadequately restrained whilst riding in the car, aside from it being unimaginably irresponible of the parents.

misdee Fri 15-Jul-05 10:13:21

highly irresponsible IMO. i yell each day at a lady who takes her kids to school and doesnt strap them in. one day she may actually hear me.

Flamesparrow Fri 15-Jul-05 10:18:43

It would again depend on how much you know about the facts.

At 9 months old I was sat with my baby in my arms (obviously she was 9 months), in the back seat.

We were on our way to hospital with her as she was very ill and floppy. Forcing her into her seat would have made her worse.

lucy5 Fri 15-Jul-05 10:43:09

Here in Spain it's awful. You see kids jumping about in cars, sitting betwee scooter drivers legs. For a country that loves children it is unbelievable. It is illegal, here children are supposed to be in car seats till they are 12 but its a law that nobody adheres to. My blood boils everyday, especially when the parents are strapped in and the kid is standing up looking through the two front seats and tiny baby is on mums lap.

Elf1981 Fri 15-Jul-05 10:43:16

I think it's the people who do it frequently that get on peoples nerves, such as my friend, or the lady misdee knows.

TBH I'm incredibly annoying when it comes to driving people in my car. I wont set off unless everybody has their seat belts on, child or adult.

MamaMaiasaura Fri 15-Jul-05 10:52:10

It is illegal and hugely irresponsible and clearly a decision made by person driving the car. I feel it is a different situation from the hats debate as (as far as I am aware) it is not illegal to sit in park and not have sun hat on.. although i am sure the paternalism of the government will try and stop that too. I personally would report number plate to police.

bobbybob Fri 15-Jul-05 11:00:16

I saw this for the first time last week and just stood on the pavement slack jawed. By the time I had recovered it was too late to do anything about it.

Pagan Fri 15-Jul-05 11:02:58

Remember the old days when we used to lie along the parcel shelf and wave to other cars. I personally liked to sit on the arm rest between my brothers, just for that extra propulsion through the windscreen

Enid Fri 15-Jul-05 11:08:59

What about people who drive to school with their baby in a sling??

Is it just me or is this truly bonkers?

mumfor1sttime Fri 15-Jul-05 11:12:47

When I was young we didnt have seat belts in our car as it was an old car from 1950s, my sis once flew forward and banged her face on hand brake when my dd had to do an emergency stop. I look back and think 'how dangerous'. There is a little girl who lives near me think she is about 3 years old and she often sits on dads lap to 'help' him drive - sad.

dinosaur Fri 15-Jul-05 11:14:01

I do sometimes get minicabs with the DSs and just have DS3 on my lap. I know it's very far from being ideal.

misdee Fri 15-Jul-05 11:16:02


you are joking right ?

Chuffed Fri 15-Jul-05 11:29:56

When we were in NZ at Christmas somebody loaded their kids into the back of a car without any seatbelts it was a ute style car. As we were fluffing about strapping 9mth old dd a lady walked up as we were in a carpark and said aren't you going to strap them in, the guy replied something like we are only up the road it isn't far and mind your own business she then proceeded to take down the plate and told them that she would call the police as they peeled off.
Good on her I say - it is illegal.

tiktok Fri 15-Jul-05 11:48:21

I know it is illegal not to have your kids restrained in a safety seat, and i can't understand parents who think it is ok not to, but has there ever been any prosectutions? I can't remember any, though you occasionally read of someone being prosecuted for using their mobile phone when driving.

I don't think I would say anything to anyone, unless it was really under my nose, and then I think I would feel I absolutely had to....I'd prob say something like, 'I hope you don't mind me saying this, but your baby is in a dangerous position, sitting on your lap like that.....I read about a baby who was thrown out of the car and died.' That last bit is true, BTW, and that would hopefully prevent them swearing at me or worse

Enid Fri 15-Jul-05 11:50:04

no not joking

for the first time in my life I actually said something about it to the mum - well, what I actually said was, 'do you need a baby car-seat, I have got an old one if you want it'.

She said, 'oh no, we've got one but she hates it'

She has stopped doing it now though.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 15-Jul-05 11:52:59

It's not illegal to go without a baby seat. It's only illegal to not use it, if there is one in the car. So as long as you don't put the baby seat you're not using in the car, nobody can prosecute you.

It is illegal to not strap in kids, if there are seatbelts.

But I'm quite sure there are essentially no prosecutions. I see adults and kids rattling around loose in cars all the time in my neighbourhood.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 15-Jul-05 11:53:39

Driving to school with your baby in a sling sounds completely insane. I mean, smallish women get killed by airbags all the time - what will an airbag do to a baby in a sling?

stripey Fri 15-Jul-05 12:07:49

I picked up a leaflet from Halfords recently which had the laws about cars seats and it is true what NQC says. The leaflet stated that if no seats were available in the car then children could travel without them, they do need to be strapped in though?? Its crazy IMO.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 15-Jul-05 12:09:16

I can see some point to changing the law ... but there are times when you don't have a car seat and really do need to travel. Not very often, but still ...

(For example, I tend not to take a car seat when we go away on holidays. We get the local taxi firm to use their seat, but end up travelling without a car seat in the other country. Of course, if more taxis had built-in car seats, this would be less of a problem.)

Miaou Fri 15-Jul-05 12:18:07

Wasn't there a thread on here recently about a mnetter whose relative was fined by police for carrying a baby on her lap - she had taken the baby out of the carseat because it had been sick.

Chuffed Fri 15-Jul-05 12:34:07

It is actually illegal in NZ, only cars registered before 1955 are allowed to not have seatbelts and drivers are responsible for making sure everybody has a seatbelt and/or child restraint on for those under 15, $150 fine per non - seatbelt wearer and any adults in the car are responsible for their own fine. Taxi's buses etc have execeptions to this.
You can't get a non-commercial vehicle registered without seatbelts. I think these laws are great personally.
Don't know if I'd have had the guts to go up and say aren't you going to restrain your kids though.

frogs Fri 15-Jul-05 12:44:09

There was a case recently where the mother was prosecuted after her child died from an incorrectly fitted car seat -- I think she had a Stage 1 car seat fitted facing forward (durr). This is not as uncommon as those of us who actually read instructions might imagine (and they're all pictures, FFS, how hard can it be?). Our next door neighbours have been driving around for months with their baby in a baby carrier-type seat facing forwards, possibly even not fixed in with a seat belt.

Confess I have said nothing, as I know they don't speak English. And it's their 6th child, so not sure how kindly they'd take advice...

tex111 Fri 15-Jul-05 12:56:04

I'm shocked to hear it's not illegal. In Texas they won't let you leave the hospital with the baby until they go down to the car and make sure you have a suitable carseat that's properly fitted. Highly illegal there and I assumed it was the same here. Hate it when I see children in cars without them. So dangerous.

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