What steps should be taken to protect kids from being left in a car.

Discussion in 'Cooper Harris' started by krkrjx, Jul 28, 2014.

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  1. krkrjx

    krkrjx Comfortably Numb

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    I believe all states should enact laws that REQUIRE drivers to look over the entire inside of their parked car before they lock the doors. The "Look Before You Lock" procedure is now a suggestion but I think there is something brewing (petitions, maybe?) to get this made into law.

    I personally feel that if everyone got into the habit of taking a minute to check for anything important they may be forgetting in the car, children would be less at risk of injury or death. Unfortunately many people will not do this if they are not required to do it. I think people should not pass their drivers test unless they perform this procedure at the end of their road test without being prompted. With such laws making failure to look a felony, if any child is found without supervision locked in a vehicle the parent/caregiver could be charged with a felony--no more excuses about it being an accident.

    I am interested in what other WSers think about the "Look Before You Lock" law but also would like suggestions of what might be done from those who oppose such legislation.
     
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  3. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    They make school bus drivers do this where I live.

    So why not other people?
     
  4. ATasteOfHoney

    ATasteOfHoney Active Member

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    An IQ test and a personality test would screen 'em out! :)

    I mean, some people shouldn't be in charge of the wellbeing of goldfish!
     
  5. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    It doesnt have to be that hard. My mom rarely had my kids in her car when they were very little, but when she did watch my son, while my daughter was being born, she had a nice trick she used.

    She kept a big teddy bear in his car seat. When she put him in the car seat, she put the bear in the front passenger seat. [ she ended up getting 2 bears cuz he would cry and want it back with him. lol] So when she got out of the car, if the bear was up front, OOPS, the kids here in the car. :bear: :baby:
     
  6. Nali87

    Nali87 New Member

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    A simple daily alarm installed in your phone (you install it once and it automatically goes off everyday) would be reminder enough for any tech savvy (social media using) parent these days. Next to that a simple piece of paper attached to the steering wheel can serve as a reminder. I don't think a law is needed. People just need to use their common sense more and act responsibly.
     
  7. krkrjx

    krkrjx Comfortably Numb

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    Responsible drivers like your mom already have something in place. But not everyone thinks to do something like this on their own. And really, how many people actually expect to forget their kid in the car? It is dismissed as something that cannot happen to you, until it does.

    Even with a look before you lock law, some people will probably not look. But at least it takes away the claim of it being an accident. The legal issue would be that they did not follow the law, because if they had they would have seen the child before they locked up the car.
     
  8. krkrjx

    krkrjx Comfortably Numb

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    I agree common sense is the best option. If only common sense were not in such short supply...
     
  9. Cinnamon

    Cinnamon New Member

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    Great idea, krkrjx, thanks for starting this thread. But, honestly, I just don't think another law will work. Just like seatbelt laws, there will always be those that just don't follow that law.

    Human, I think that's the law where I live too, yet, there have been cases where kids were left on the school bus in the morning and at the end of the day (apparently the kids fell asleep). Thankfully none died that I'm aware of (will provide links later when I get home). So, in those cases the bus driver broke the law and didn't check the bus.

    I agree with Nali87 -- a simple daily alarm on your smartphone. I have daily alarms for EVERYTHING that I need to be reminded of. Daily, weekly, monthly alarms. Just checked my phone, and I currently have 10 daily alarms...simple, basic things, two alarms for some things like take meds, walk dog, etc.

    FYI, I don't have kids, so I can't imagine ever forgetting them in the car, but as a precaution, in this day and age, I know I would have daily alarms in my phone for my kids too. One for the a.m. and one for the p.m.

    IMO, it's up to the individual, and yes, common sense, to make sure they don't leave their child in the car.

    Jmo, moo, etc...
     
  10. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    If there is no law, then there are no consequences.

    Laws perk me right up.

    For instance, when I get a speeding ticket, it sure makes me drive the speed limit for years later.

    If people hear there are convictions for leaving a child in a car, I bet there will be more care taken to make sure that does not happen.

    Obviously no law stops anything, but I bet in some cases it helps.
     
  11. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    I think it would be good for society if we took a NO EXCUSES stance on kids dying in cars. Sorry, no excuses allowed. Automatic penalty. Does not matter WHY you forgot. Too bad, too late, JAIL TIME. :jail:
     
  12. krkrjx

    krkrjx Comfortably Numb

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    I agree completely!

    Here's the thing, though: It is already not acceptable in most states to leave your kid in a locked vehicle but people are claiming they did it because they "forgot" they had the child with them or they were "sure" they had dropped the child off at day care. And that is being accepted because there is nothing that shows they did it intentionally; it is basically a mistake, i.e., no one's perfect.

    We can't put people in jail if there is no law broken. If the driver of a vehicle is required by law to look around the interior of the vehicle before they lock up, there would never be a forgotten child unless the driver does not comply with the law. Stress, change of routine, none of that would matter because in any scenario if they look before they lock, they would see the child. In cases where you get out of your vehicle for mere minutes to pump gas or pick up your mail or whatever, you could leave the child inside the vehicle because you would not need to lock the car.

    I do not like excessive legislation any more than the next person but I am alarmed that our society just lets these deaths go with little more than a shrug. "Oh well...too bad the baby died but it could not be avoided because no one's perfect, and we are sure the parent has suffered enough."
     
  13. EvilSoup

    EvilSoup Former Member

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    I believe most times, it is not an oversight, so parents don't need reminders, per se.

    However, if there are measures put into place to make it impossible for any parent to say "oops! I forgot!" , then yes, that is a good thing.

    Of course my cynical mind goes to "What method will become the next 'hot car'?"

    People that kill their kids will always find a way. I do think a zero-tolerance take on car deaths is WONDERFUL, in that forgetting is no longer a plausible excuse for killing your baby.
     
  14. EvilSoup

    EvilSoup Former Member

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    You beat me to it, and said it much better.
     
  15. EvilSoup

    EvilSoup Former Member

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    But people who do this on purpose and try to say it was an accident won't have employed any self-initiated safeguards. In fact they are counting on crying "whoops" and getting away with it because the precedent has been set.

    However, a law which assures prosecution for "forgetting" may just cut down on the car death "epidemic".
     
  16. RANCH

    RANCH Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that we need any new laws. Isn't it already child abuse to leave a small child alone in a car? I think that we should prosecute people under existing laws not make new ones. Isn't that what's happening in this case? MOO.
     
  17. EvilSoup

    EvilSoup Former Member

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    Except for there is already legal precedent that "forgotten babies in hot cars" is not criminal, therefore a parent who wishes to off their child has a pretty good chance of getting off scot-free by employing this method.

    If RH has not acted like an azz and cursed at a LEO, he might have gotten away with it, too.

    Shoot, there are people posting here and on other boards that poor Ross made a tragic mistake.

    If the laws are changed to make it a criminal act (and enforce it) to leave a child in a car, and "forgetting" is no longer an excuse, then I believe we will see a drastic drop in hot car deaths. Not because of awareness, but because potentially murderous parents now know the jig is up.
     
  18. RANCH

    RANCH Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize that it wasn't against the law to leave a small child unattended in a car. Is this in all states or just some? I'm not understanding the forgetting part. If someone forgets to feed their baby does that mean that there was no child abuse? I don't think so.

    Or are you talking about prosecutors not prosecuting cases where the parent allegedly forgot a small child in a car? What will make prosecutors pursue cases with a new law vs what's already on the books? MOO.
     
  19. krkrjx

    krkrjx Comfortably Numb

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    Honestly, I don't know if that's what is happening in this case. Seems to me LE made a statement to the effect that this case is not your typical child's life lost due to parent forgetting him in a car. That led me to believe LE saw something specific in this case that makes it different from the average forgotten child case without which he would not have been charged.

    I agree, though, that we should prosecute people under existing laws--I just don't think there are adequate laws on the books in most states that cover forgetting your child in a car. Prosecution happens if someone leaves their baby in the car to go to a bar, or to go buy/deal drugs, or goes shopping, etc., or if they lock them in purposely for any reason, such as punishment.

    Ms. Balfour's child would no doubt still be alive if she had been in the habit of checking the car interior every time she parked. And the man who adopted the Russian baby and three months later let him bake to death in a car--that child would be alive today if dad had only looked before he locked. It would take one minute, maybe less, for parents to do this but many parents will have to be told do to it by way of legislation, sad as that is.

    Of course, even with the law we would not totally stop this horrid practice but at least there would be a basis for prosecuting ALL hot car deaths, even when a parent forgets a child unintentionally, or forgets to lock their car and the kid climbs in on their own.

    But you raise a good point about enforcing existing laws rather than creating new ones. I am just not sure existing laws are sufficient because I see too many people getting away with this.
     
  20. RANCH

    RANCH Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I see that your proposed law would make it a felony to not look to see if a child is left behind in a car. You don't mention if any physical harm must occur to the child for it to be a felony only that the person didn't look.

    What about people who get caught speeding with small children on board, should that be a felony? How about unsafe lane changes or failure to make a complete stop at a stop sign with small children on board? All of those acts are dangerous and could cause great bodily harm to kids. Should they become felonies also, regardless of any actual harm done to a child.

    I'm not sure how far we should go with this. JMO.
     
  21. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    I think it is kind of like what has slowly happened in society, concerning pool deaths. When I was a kid, in the 50's and 60's, if a child died in the pool, people thought, OH WELLL, too bad. What a shame. But no one was expected to have pool covers, alarms, or locked gates on their pools, or be prosecuted. Now we expect that you will be sued civilly and/or arrested if a child dies in your pool or jacuzzi or pond.

    I hope that happens with car deaths as well. It should not be tolerated. It is not that hard to turn your head to check the car seat. It really isn't. SMH
     
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