schools and carseats - question

LaurieB

New member
I was picking DS up today and I park right by where the drive-thru pick up lane is. Parents who pick their kids up wait in a line, then slowly drive up and a school employee walks each child to their car, opens the door, and then usually closes it. This is an elementary school. Most kids should be in seats, a few are old enough to be in boosters, yet most of the kids climb in the front seat and put a seat belt on.

The new WA law as on June 1, 2007:
Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (which ever comes first), must ride in a child restraint. (For example a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
Children 8-years of age or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a booster.

so up to 4'9 OR 8 years old is required to use a booster. Their parents have stupidly chosen not to but does the school have any liability for putting kids in cars that don't meeet the law? I know its the drivers responsibilty but could the school be liable in the event of an accident for allowing a child to not be properly restained as per THE LAW???

Laurie - in disbelief in WA
 
Last edited:
ADS

CDNTech

Senior Community Member
That's a good question... I don't know the answer, sorry!

That's a fantastic law though, now to get parents to follow it...
 

Qarin

New member
There was a lot of publicity about this law, letting everyone know it was going into effect (june 1, 2007)- I would have THOUGHT that it would be the kind of thing which schools would be all over in helping the state government educate parents about. That seems maddening.
 

LaurieB

New member
me too, which is why I wonder if the school has any responsibility. The law does say that the driver is responsible for passengers under 16 so I guess the driver would get the ticket but what about an accident? Could the school be sued for negligence by omission? I'd love to see the school jump on board with this one, after all its the elementary school kid that this new law targets.

(WA research shows that only 4% of kids between 40 pounds and 4'9/8YO are in seats) from www.800buckleup.org

Laurie
 

Gypsy

Senior Community Member
I'd print out the law, suggest to the school that they might be liable in an accident if they are not only not putting kids in seats, but also putting them in the front seat and ask that they take steps to ensure all the kids are being transported legally from school as staff members are the ones putting the kids in the cars.
 

easterbun

New member
It's the same process where my DS goes to school... and I've actually mouthed off to how IRRESPONSIBLE some of the people bringing kids out to the cars were. My irritation is really that usually whoever brought DS to my car would immediately open the rear passenger door, see DD rearfacing (I have dark tinted windows, so it's not all that obvious from trying to look in), then immediately reach for the FRONT DOOR!! All the while HE is trying to tell them that no, he sits in the back, on the OTHER side, they just don't listen (to him or to me). I've held up the line before too, by getting out of the car (which BTW is "against their rules" but I argue that if they can't properly and safely get my child into my car their rules don't mean squat to me) to move DS to the back.

What gets me though, is that most of the time DS doesn't have time to buckle up before we're instructed to "move along". I've spoken up about this as well.. but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Unfortunately here in TX the carseat laws are fairly lax so no one is "breaking" the law by not having a 5yo in a booster (I've seen only a couple of kids at DS's elementary school still in boosters) or even by seating them in the front seat :(
 

mommycat

Well-known member
Keep speaking up - it is ridiculous that a school would not allow you the time to get your child into your vehicle SAFELY!
 

Ali

New member
Does your DS go to the school where I teach? I actually asked to be removed from the parent pick up line for my duty assignment because I couldn't stand watching it anymore. (My school does not escort students to nor open the doors for students, though.)

We did send home a short blurb about the new law in our newsletter. I teach 2nd grade and while most of my kids are already 8, NONE are over 4'9" and should all be in boosters - only 2 are and even they say it's not all the time.

Go to the school board, district office, etc. Parents have a much louder voice than school personnel.
 

Melizerd

New member
I would completely hold up the line. There's no way they should even LET parents pull away until the child is properly restrained.

If they told me I was breaking the rules by stopping I'd be livid and they'd have a lawsuit on their hands if something happened because I wasn't ALLOWED to buckle my son in properly.

I'm not looking forward to dealing with schools.
 

TxMomma

New member
It's the same process where my DS goes to school... and I've actually mouthed off to how IRRESPONSIBLE some of the people bringing kids out to the cars were. My irritation is really that usually whoever brought DS to my car would immediately open the rear passenger door, see DD rearfacing (I have dark tinted windows, so it's not all that obvious from trying to look in), then immediately reach for the FRONT DOOR!! All the while HE is trying to tell them that no, he sits in the back, on the OTHER side, they just don't listen (to him or to me). I've held up the line before too, by getting out of the car (which BTW is "against their rules" but I argue that if they can't properly and safely get my child into my car their rules don't mean squat to me) to move DS to the back.

What gets me though, is that most of the time DS doesn't have time to buckle up before we're instructed to "move along". I've spoken up about this as well.. but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Unfortunately here in TX the carseat laws are fairly lax so no one is "breaking" the law by not having a 5yo in a booster (I've seen only a couple of kids at DS's elementary school still in boosters) or even by seating them in the front seat :(

It's the same way at Rylee's school, I don't think anyone buckles up out here :thumbsdown: I have actually gotten a compliment for having the girls in seats, the teacher said it was nice that I cared enough about my kids safety because I wouldn't believe how many kids she sees get in and not buckle up...yeah I do believe it, I see it constantly. I wish TX had passed that new bill, we need it so bad here.

Oh about them telling you to move along...they can't make you do it, I always hold up the line and they can deal with it (though they have never given me problems). My kids safety comes first.
 

2snugbugs

New member
My 7 yo son, I swear, is 1 of 2 that I EVER seen in a high back booster. Hes in a parkway.

It makes me sick.

I was waiting for my son on the grass outside his school and this lady with her daughter (maybe 8) asked me to move so she could pull out over the grass to beat the school buses from leaving. I said sure but asked her to at least buckle up her daughter who was sitting in the front seat with NO SEATBELT.
She did ask her to buckle.

I don't understand!!! Why do people take chances with their own babies??
 

mommyto4kiddos

Senior Community Member
When my kids went to a kindergarden center they actually said i couldn't buckle my kids up in the pick up lane because it has to keep moving. I said well then how am i suppose to buckle them up, they said most parents drive down the block and pull over to buckle them. That made me so mad. They didn't care about safety only about their line moving fast as possible. Most parents didn't use carseats, so no biggy for them.
 

ThreeBeans

New member
When my kids went to a kindergarden center they actually said i couldn't buckle my kids up in the pick up lane because it has to keep moving. I said well then how am i suppose to buckle them up, they said most parents drive down the block and pull over to buckle them. That made me so mad. They didn't care about safety only about their line moving fast as possible. Most parents didn't use carseats, so no biggy for them.

I hope you told them to go diddle themselves :D
 

Bryana'sMomma

New member
At my daughter's elementry school the parents have to park across the street or in the parking lot. The school buses get priority in front of the school.

So I drive my daughter and I see tons and tons of kids getting picked up on any given day. Very very few are in a booster.

I believe once that school bell as rang, and those children are dismissed and those kids are off of school grounds the parents are FULLY responsible.

The only say administration or school officials have here is to deny someone to pick up a child because they aren't on your kids list of adults with permission to pick up.

It's sad but if you were to interview a kindergarten classroom I bet less than 25% of the class would still be sitting in a booster.
 

mommyto4kiddos

Senior Community Member
The one thing we have going for us is the schools started teaching its safer in the back and in a booster. They may not follow it, but they are teaching it to the kids.
 

Victorious4

Senior Community Member
Schools are supposed to be advocates for children, advocating to/with parents & the community at large -- there is plenty of material for the school audience as far as teaching kids to buckle safely.... I found most of it via Google, but others I've gotten at conferences: I'll be adding some to my website within the next couple weeks, but can also email :) Get involved with the PTA, any police presence on campus, with the principal, your local techs, etc. I'm adding the materials to my website as an easy way for my area schools & such to share with colleagues what I can offer them because I'll be pushing schools & others to let me host assembly events for the kids (with info to bring home).
 

msumama

New member
I mentioned in another post, one of my main reasons for choosing the home we purchased last year was that it sits in a sub. right next to the kid's school, which is K-12 in one building. I love it, I hated school buses the few times they rode them and driving was a nightmare! My school aged dd's are 13 and 12 and even this past year, one of them started getting a ride home with a friend because it was so uncool to walk home with her little sis. Well, this mom is VERY involved in the school and I have always been a FREAK about seatbelts, so I assumed she'd be wearing one. I had to run home and change one day and happened to be getting back into my car when they pulled in. The other mom drives a Rondevous (sp?) and had 9 girls piled on each other's laps in the car!!! My dd knew as soon as she saw me she was SOOOOO busted! Her explaination, it's just around the corner, which it is but still no excuse, most accidents happen "just around the corner". In Michigan we have school of choice which means you can send your kid to any district if you transport them, 1/3 of our 1500 students are out of district and driven to school, it's a nightmare! I am constantly amazed at how many parents don't even make their kids wear a seatbelt! OHHHH, I just had a lightbulb moment! I am on the school's health and wellness committee, this would be an awesome topic for that! I think every school in the country is mandated to have one now under no child left behind, I know here in MI they are. They do mostly nutrition stuff but this is health and wellness too!!!!
Amy
 

flipper68

Senior Community Member
I was picking DS up today and I park right by where the drive-thru pick up lane is. Parents who pick their kids up wait in a line, then slowly drive up and a school employee walks each child to their car, opens the door, and then usually closes it. This is an elementary school. Most kids should be in seats, a few are old enough to be in boosters, yet most of the kids climb in the front seat and put a seat belt on.

The new WA law as on June 1, 2007:
Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (which ever comes first), must ride in a child restraint. (For example a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
Children 8-years of age or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a booster.

so up to 4'9 OR 8 years old is required to use a booster. Their parents have stupidly chosen not to but does the school have any liability for putting kids in cars that don't meeet the law? I know its the drivers responsibilty but could the school be liable in the event of an accident for allowing a child to not be properly restained as per THE LAW???

Laurie - in disbelief in WA

Nope, nope, and nope. :( As a teacher and a tech, I tried to approach a couple of families with blatant CPS issues. In one memorable case [5 kids in a sedan, only 1-2 seats, the oldest child was a preschooler] I got reamed by the grandma (driver), the mom (teacher at the school) went to the principal to complain. "It's only for a couple of blocks." [Then WALK!!] "I called the State Patrol (or the police or whatever - but the LAW was 6 yrs. old at the time) and they said it was okay." And most importantly, "It's none of your business."

The first year I was certified, I put signs up all over. No response. The next two years I addressed the parents at the beginning of the year, grade level meeting AND the PTO/PTA. 1 check for a new sib and I got (through our Safe Kids coalition) a HWH seat for a boy with autism who couldn't/wouldn't ride w/o harness [I initiated that when I saw he was still harnessed in a convertable seat - and was well over 40 lbs.]

Very frustrating since the school has 750 kids in preK - 5. At least 80% were not correctly restrained even in my visual (from outside a moving vehicle) "exit check:" (no seat belt, front seat, too many occupants, seat belt under arm/behind back - couldn't count how many SHOULD have been in boosters, but less than 20% were). :thumbsdown:

My thought is the schools are too scared of the liablity if we were to focus on it - parents would come back and say, "Then give me a seat." [Our school district provides EVERYTHING for students after a lawsuit about discrimination in school activities because of low income. And I mean EVERYTHING: from pencils and paper to band instruments and cheerleading uniforms.]
 

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