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04/08/2010

I May Be The Only One, But I Support Ohio's Booster Seat Law

J0399970 One time, not long ago I was driving alone (such a rare occasion) and had stopped at a McDonald’s to grab a bite to eat. While waiting in the drive-thru line I noticed a woman and a little girl crossing the parking lot. I assumed the woman was the little girl’s mother, but I really have no idea.

I did take note that she was barking at the little girl who was about 3-years-old and lagging behind in the crowded parking lot. By the time the woman reached her car the little girl was a good 6 feet behind her – in a crowded drive-thru parking lot. The hair on the back of my neck raised and I continued to watch as I inched through the drive-thru lane. The woman snapped at the little girl who was distracted by the designs on the happy meal bag she was carrying and clearly dawdling.

When the girl finally got to the car, the “mom” opened the front passenger door. It was then I noticed it was a 2-door car. Immediately I began to think about how difficult it must be to get a child buckled into a car seat in that type of car, especially when you’re as angry as this person was. I waited for the woman to lean the front passenger seat forward, but she never did. Instead the little girl climbed into the passenger seat and the woman shut the door, walked around the car, and got in the driver’s seat.

Initially, I thought that maybe they were just going to eat lunch in the car, I could understand that. But no less than 10 seconds later the car started up and they backed out of the parking spot. I’m sure at this point my mouth was hanging open. I couldn’t believe this woman was going to drive around with a 3-year-old in the front seat without a second thought.

I fumbled for my phone and my heart started racing. I pulled out of the drive-thru lane and watched the car turn the corner at the light ahead of me. The operator picked up and I quickly explained the situation. I reported the license plate number which, of course, was some cutesy personalized plate that I now can’t even remember. The operator asked where the car was headed and called police out to the scene. Like all 911 calls, I never knew how it ended. But I hope for that little girl’s sake some sense was knocked into that woman.

It’s situations like these that reinforce my belief in laws like Ohio’s new Booster Seat Law which took effect April 7th. I know there are a lot of naysayers, upset that the government is stepping in once again and playing Big Brother. However, the AAA has reported that the leading cause of death of Ohio children ages 4-8 is car crashes. This leads me to believe that there are many more people out there like the woman/”mom” above who need the government to step in and require a booster seat and seat belt in order to save these children’s lives. How can that be wrong?

Original Ohio Moms Blog post. Tésa also blogs at 2 Wired 2 Tired and Westside Cleveland Mom and runs the Cleveland area family friendly events site, Kidburst. She tweets @2Wired2Tired as well.

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