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  1. #21
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Bay Area California

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Quote Originally Posted by momto2princes View Post
    Interesting. I have never come across a check on the road. The only ones I have been to the ones I voluntarily go to . I am in BC.

    I understand the ticketing for expired seats for sure. I don't really agree with the cash grab tickets when parents have their seats installed incorrectly or the childs harness isn't quite tight enough. They should be pulled aside and shown how do it properly (not all parents are as (I use this term loosely for lack of a better wording) "anal" as I know I am). The course is a great option. Just a ticket doesn't solve the problem. Instead of a ticket they should be given a date and time to arrive at a car seat check and have the technician test their install of the seat and child which would show how much was retained from when they were shown when they were originally pulled over.

    I love the idea but wish it was more about the child safety that the $$$.
    I totally agree with you. I've participated in the Livermore CA (USA) road side check for 6-7 years now. Officers stop cars. If there is non-use they get ticketed and held until a seat is brought. If it is a case of misuse (and of course, once the a seat is brought for a child without one) the parents are given the option to receive a ticket or pull off the roadway into a parking lot where techs are set up to do inspections and lessons. If a child is outside the official booster law (6 or 60 here) and does not have a booster, they will not be given a ticket for an improperly fitting seat belt as long as they are willing to talk to the techs and buy one of the boosters we have on hand for just this case. The boosters cost whatever the parent can afford to chip in toward the $7 cost. Regardless of ability to pay, a booster is provided.

    Ticketing for misuse is counter-productive. The goal is education. Or at least it should be.
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

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    April, 2001

  3. #22
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Edmonton, AB, Canada

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Quote Originally Posted by safeinthecar View Post

    Ticketing for misuse is counter-productive. The goal is education. Or at least it should be.
    When the ticketing results in education though, it becomes productive. I've had people coming in to work and buying proper seats for their kids because of a friend having gotten a ticket and having told them a bunch of things about car seats.

    Ultimately it's the fear of getting a ticket that's a motivator for far too many. And if that fear motivates proper use, or if that ticket pushes a caregiver into taking an education session, then it's worth it. Why anyone would rather pay $100's of dollars in fines when you could take a 1.5hr free session is beyond me, and yet that's what most people choose to do. It all comes down to priorities...

    Parents who choose the option 4 watch a video, learn some basics about crash dynamics and the importance of restraints, and the age/stage stuff. No it's not best practice or incredibly thorough, but for many of the parents who take the course, a lot of the information is new. I participated in a research project here in the city and I can tell you that some of the things I saw made me wish I had the ability to hand out tickets and tell them to just go to the class to get it dropped. Nobody here wants the parents to pay the tickets - they want the parent to choose the education option. The ticket is meant to be the means to the end.

    Not trying to pick on you, but I hear from parents locally about "cash grab" and that kind of thing, when really it's not a cash grab. Take the education session and you don't have to pay a penny. It's pretty simple. And local data shows that the roadside checks are more effective at catching the major misuse than the public seat check events that are held. I disagreed with the whole idea when I was first told about it and the fact that public seat check events are being discontinued here, but now that I've seen more random IRL use and how bad some of it is, I am a believer that this is the type of program that's needed to actually drive behavior changes. The roadside check I participated in in Red Deer we saw some misuse, but nowhere near the scale that I saw while participating in the research project.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.

  4. #23
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Quote Originally Posted by proudmomofriley View Post
    However, the other side of that is that it is a PARENT'S responsibility to inform themself and do their research to ensure their child is safe. None of us here were forced to do our research, we did it because we wanted to ensure our kids were as safe as possible. Just the same as we do our research about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, sleeping babies on their back, childproofing our homes, when to start solid foods, etc., etc. It bothers me a bit when parents use ignorance as an excuse.
    I agree completely that there is no excuse for the flagrant things like expired seats, or being way off on the kind of seat kids should be in (or not using a seat at all), but things like winter coats in car seats and the use of after-market products - and so many other things - are issues that most parents don't come across in regular research they might do. When I was researching what kind of convertible to buy, I read tons of reviews and consumer sites but I never once came across any of the many sites that I am now aware of that have great information on car seat safety and education in general. I didn't stumble over this forum and other info until I was desperately searching online for help with an installation. Fortunately I hadn't committed any really major no-nos, but I'm sure I would have eventually. I would have turned my son FF at a year, and he'd probably be wearing a puffy coat or snowsuit in his car seat this winter. Up to then I thought I had done my homework by researching what seat to buy, reading my manual and making sure the seat was installed and used correctly (as per the manual).

    I'm thrilled to bits that I ended up finding this site and that I've learned so much. And I feel so strongly that more public education is needed that I'm planning to become a tech and do whatever I can to help. My point is just to say that a lot of well-intentioned parents that have made an effort truly believe they are doing everything right, and sometimes they are not. I don't think it is their fault (again, outside of horrid misuse). I think there could be more information in manuals, and I think the information put out by public agencies is, in most cases, horrible. Not to mention the fact that people assume that if something is for sale it must be safe and OK to use (i.e. after-market products for car seats). People need more information put in front of them.

    I've never heard of a roadside seat check being done where I live, but it sounds like a good idea. A great way to educate the well-intentioned, and hopefully force something better out of those who really haven't made it a priority, to put it nicely.

  5. #24
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Here, at the roadside checks we do, we only ticket for flagrant misuse (but do give warnings which result in tickets if you are warned again - highly unlikely). Like the seat has been tampered with in some way, or isn't installed (or no seat, obviously). Or so old as to be obviously expired (like a 20+ yo seat). There were a couple situations where the parents were given the option to take the bus home, or call someone to get an appropriate seat for them, because they had say a 5 year old in a only a seatbelt.

    I'd love to give warnings for things like a too-loose harness, but we usually correct it and educate the parent. Unfortunately, I don't think they take that too seriously.
    American mom in canada with 2 dds in MAs, one RF, one FF

  6. #25
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Roadside checks are great! I would love to have it where I live. However, as OP mentioned, it seems like she did know a lot about car seats, and it was installed correctly, used properly, with only the coat as an issue.

    In such a situation where everything else was fine, I don't think the ticket was warranted. It seems like she would have gone to the course, or receiving the info. on the spot would have been enough. Usually, you can tell if someone is really interested in having their kids safe, or are doing only the minimum.

    We're in -20 now. It's definitely hard, and most people around me don't know that a coat is not proper.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Roadside Inspection Warning

    Hmmm...I feel bad that the guy was rude, but I wish they would do this in the US. Almost no one I know uses their carseats properly and they all think I'm nuts when I try to help. The US is far too lax when it comes to child safety.

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