Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What would you have done?!

Saturday we headed to IKEA to fix some cabinet issues. It was our first trip for that reason and only took 2 hours out of our day. On the bright side they do provide ample opportunity for you to spend more money on fabulous hot dogs and Mountain Dew from a fountain.

Anywho, on our way home we saw something that really, really bothered me. As we were waiting to turn onto a busy, 4 lane street I was looking at the vehicle in front of us. It was a large econovan that's made to hold many passengers. And yet, in the very back, there were three children (under 10) playing around and did not seem to be buckled in in any way. I was freaking out. In this day in age, who doesn't buckle their kids in seat belts, or car seats, depending on their age?! As we followed them, while CG listened to my ranting and I looked from all angles to see if they were really running free in the back of the van, they got on the freeway! The freeway, people! Where the slowest driver goes 5 miles over the speed limit and they are passed with great annoyance!

I was seriously tempted to call the police on them, but didn't really know if that was what I should do. The van did seem to be full and I saw younger children that were fastened into car seats. And there's the possibility that they were buckled into the back of the van. Facing backwards. In the kind of seat belts that let the kids roam from one side of the van to the other. Like bungee seat belts.

As I was sharing my shock and annoyance with a truly riveted CG, he quickly passed them so that the option of calling the police and giving them the license plate number was no longer an option. But. It's bothered me ever since. CG pointed out that maybe they couldn't afford a car large enough to fit all of their children. And, since I'm assuming that we were not all born wealthy and have had money to spare our entire lives, that we can relate. If there is someone like that reading my blog, then I think we need to become better friends. ;o) It was the getting on the freeway that really freaked me out. That just seems so far beyond irresponsible that the parents should not have looked so relaxed and happy in the front seat.
Maybe it's just me. Am I overreacting? As much as I love large families (for other people), would you continue to have children knowing that you cannot transport them safely and lawfully? Is this where my righteous judgementalness comes in?! What would you have done if you had been in my situation? I need to know so that I'm prepared for the next time.


Kristina P. said...

I have called the police in this situation, and I would have done it again. I also think there may be a phone number especially for reporting this kind of thing.

I don't care if they are too poor to afford a larger car. They are putting kids at risk, and that's not an assumption I would be really to make.

Suzie said...

You're not overreacting. You probably should have called. I believe there is a hotline to report that type of thing because it is such a problem AND ILLEGAL. The drivers receive a notice in the mail that they have been reported as a warning. If they are reported again or pulled over by a cop, they are hit with a citation.

Money has nothing to do with it. If you don't have enough money to properly take care of your kids, then stop having them! That's my two cents. :)

peewee said...

well, I would just remember that those might not be all their kids. But definitely call the police! It's weird how we always feel weird about stuff like that. TRUST your instincts :)

Jo said...

That would seriously bug me. I would feel the way you did and my hubby would do what yours did!

Happy Granny said...

It's hard to believe that sometimes people don't take seat belt laws seriously, or think ahead to what would happen in an accident. By turning them in, it makes them more aware and even if they're ticked off, it's better than living with the thought that you have a child damaged for life or worse, killed because you didn't take it serious. You are doing them and their children a favor in the long run. We have many legal rights, but carelessly putting children at risk isn't one of them. xoxoxo

Alonso Family said...

i am glad to be included with the "people flattering your fragile blog ego:)" you crack me up. it was fun to run into you at IKEA the other day. thank your hubbie again for his help loading the girls new bunk bed in our truck. btw, i got it up that very day after 5 hours of kids consistantly interupting my progress but they absolutely love it so of course it was worth it.

as for this seat belt business, it is serious stuff. i so would have called the police for sure. i have done so when ever i see people lives in danger. example of my driving related 911 calls include: reckless semi truck plowing through traffic, possible drunk drivers weaving back and forth, and also dangerous debry falling out of truck.

i never regreted calling 911 but i would have if i didn't. i would say if this incident is bugging you still, you will know what to do the next time it happens. as the old saying goes "better safe then sorry!"

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