CHILD SAFETY – CAR VS BUS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I am headed out this morning to go get our youngest grandson for the weekend.  I am very excited as we have not seen him in over a month.  With our other grandchildren logistically closer also perhaps we will be able to see them more often as well.  As I was going over the timeline to go get him, the directions and the menu for when he is here I was thinking about his booster seat.

A similar question came up when I drove the two grandchildren back from Texas.  Our granddaughter gets car sick and does much better in the front seat.  The issue then was air-bag safety.  Cars are so very different today.  Maybe it is not the cars so much as the rules of the road for safety.  Then I wandered over into the fact that school buses do not require boosters or have seat belts.

Hi Ho Hi Ho it is to the web I go………..

At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website I found all sorts of information about the proper car set.  There was info on how to select a car seat and ratings for it.  I found out you can register a car seat as well as have an inspection of it.  There was info on recalls and whether to re-use it after a crash.  I discovered there were no National Laws regarding the use of the car seats.  

Child Passenger Safety Laws – October 2012

Child passenger restraint requirements vary based on age, weight and height. Often, this happens in three stages: infants use rear-facing infant seats; toddlers use forward-facing child safety seats; and older children use booster seats.

Many laws require all children to ride in the rear seat whenever possible, and most states permit children over a particular age, height or weight to use an adult safety belt.

First offense fines for not complying with a state’s child passenger safety laws vary from $10 to $500. Some states also use driver’s license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria.

48 states and the District of Columbia require booster seats or other appropriate devices for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are still too small to use an adult seat belt safely.

The only states lacking booster seat laws are Florida and South Dakota.

5 states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York) have seat belt requirements for school buses. Texas requires them on buses purchased after September 2010.

As I was preparing to write this there also was a news report of a school bus accident and it occurred tome that they had no seat belts.  As you can see from the above note I was wrong and some states actually do require seat belts.  I found these headlines on the NHTSA site that would lead me to further information should I or you care to look.  The headlines were fairly clear on their own merit.

Facts

School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. 

School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. 

School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools each morning 

Those my age reading this all know that there were no child safety laws when we were little.  I often sat in the car in my father’s lap.  On longer trips I have a memory of lying across the front seat with my head in Dad’s lap.  Our children used to be in a car bed in the back seat.  When they could sit up we had a chair that was nothing more than a bottom and back in a metal frame.  The base of the frame was inserted into the joint of the car’s actual seat and snapped in place.  It was serviceable to keep the child in one place.  Have no idea how safe it was. 

I also have to note here that in some states that have requirements of 4’9″ and 80#.  I have grown friends that are not too far from those numbers – really?

It was just a thought as I prepared to make my trip this afternoon up and back to get our best ‘Little Guy’.  Isn’t is hypocritical of us to spend all the time and money on safety seats for the cars and not buses?  I also cannot see where buses are safer by their design than cars.  The car seat business is a billion dollar industry.  Who are the laws created for I wonder?

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

 

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CARS continued….

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I get on a roll sometimes as my thoughts wander or connect.  A few days after I saw the yellow thunderbird, I was at the same stoplight turning left to do my errands.  The turn is important.  It was a left hand turn into a two lane road.  Now I believe the courteous thing to do is to make the left into the right hand lane of a two lane road.  You are not going fast after you make the turn so if someone behind you wants to increase their speed you have given them room to pass and speed up.  Just my thought and thinking that is what I was taught in driver ed.

I made the turn and got into the right lane and begin increasing my speed to the 55 limit.  The person behind me had turned into this road and chose the left hand lane.  I expected they chose this lane as they planned to speed up much faster than I. They did not.  So there I was in the right hand lane knowing a traffic light was a bit away and knowing I wanted to go the speed limit. As Mr. Renwick, my French teacher used to say I ‘put the leather to it’.  I hit the accelerator and left that car in the dust!  Well not quite – almost.

I chuckled to myself and thought what a rush.  Haven’t we all been passed by some obnoxious person driving a car that speeds past us and then slows down?  Or speeds past us and then reaches the light only one car before us or ends up beside us?  I usually wonder what was the hurry?  This particular day I came upon a different thought.

There is so much going on in each of our lives.  We experience frustration.  We experience anger.  We are irritated or annoyed.  Our world may not be spinning in the direction that we want.  The repairman may be late.  The Drs office called and canceled your appointment.  No control.  In a car we can be in charge of ourselves and our actions.

I am reminded of the movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes”.  Kathy Bates character, Evelyn Couch, led a life that was stifled by much around her.  Her best scene I think was when the girls in the Volkswagen took her parking spot and she rammed them over and over.  She said, “Face it girls, I am older and I have more insurance.”   Sometimes you just have to assert yourself.

So in traffic if I get irritated I may just hit the accelerator and move past a slow poke – safely of course.  The absolute best is when I have been overtaken by a young kid in a sporty car, shifting and passing me VAROOM!  They think they are so tough.   On occasion at the next stop light I have been known to hit the accelerator and take the lead in a big way as the light turns green.  I am not advocating unsafe driving or speed or competing.  I am just saying that an occasional shot of speed can do much to allow us to think we are in control of something in our lives.

Besides kids – while I am driving an older model wagon – I have TURBO!!!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…