Stupidity - Marcos{P}
I have just seen the most horrific accident.

Basically a large box van went into the back of a Nissan Primera and shunted it accross the road. It doesn\'t sound that bad apart from the fact that there were three small children in the back of the car that weren\'t strapped in.
If you\'ve ever seen a small child lying in a pool of blood by the side of the road it\'s something that you will never want to see again.
I just can\'t believe the stupidity of the person driving. We are constantly bombarded with messages about using seat belts, using them in the back and as parents about the use of proper car seats.
Since becoming a parent it is something I am very aware of but why are some people just so stupid. Does it really need the loss of a young life like this to make people just use some common sense.
Stupidity - Vagelis
it really need the loss of a young life like this
to make people just use some common sense.

Unfortunately, 'Common sense' is not really so common.. :-|

Stupidity - Brill {P}

I couldn't agree more, and having been in your situation (and subequently appeared in court as a witness) you also have my sympathy.

Stupidity - Dan J
Drives me mad. The countless times you see people driving a car (notably with THEIR seatbelt on) with their 5 year old kid standing between the seats (ready to act as a very breakable projectile) or several kids climbing all over the back of the car.

You sound your horn and point and people merely shrug or offer "inappropriate" gestures in return. One one occasion with some silly bint driving about 90 down the M6 with three kids jumping around in the back of the car I called the Police. Was told it unfortunately couldn't be taken as priority but if there was a car in the area they'd check it out. Lovely. Am sure it'd become a higher priority after a minor accident where they end up through the windscreen etc.

I think people who have such disregard for their kids should have them taken away - it's a subject matter that makes me livid.
Stupidity - edisdead {P}
Marcos, I completely sympathise with your (and others') views here.
I am not a parent myself but if I have back seat passengers, children or adults, I am concerned for their safety. It's a no-brainer to ensure kids belt up, but I'm often embarrassed to ask adult passengers to do the same. After all it is their responsibility isn't it? Perhaps I should adopt the attitude that it's my car, i'm driving, do as i say?
Stupidity - peterb
I'm often embarrassed to ask adult passengers to [belt up]
Perhaps I should
adopt the attitude that it's my car, i'm driving, do as
I say?

I'm afraid I do insist. I'd hate for them to be injured when I'm driving. I also don't want them slamming into the back of the front seats.
Stupidity - Ben79
The brakes on modern cars are good enough to throw people from their seats. I insist that passengers belt up.

On my 3rd Citroen. Saxo, Xsara, C5.
Stupidity - DavidHM
Absolutely agree. I insist too, because while I have no problem if people want to injure themselves, doing so is likely to involve them travelling through my seat at 30 mph - and that's gonna hurt. I don't want that.
Stupidity - Dynamic Dave
My 7 yr old niece rarely belts up in my sisters car. My sister doesn't help matters by not forcing her to wear a belt when in her car. Whenever they travel in my car I've had to resort to devious tactics to get my niece to put her belt on. A look in the rear view mirror to make sure no one is behind me, then a quick jab on the brakes. After a couple times of this my niece then takes the hint that it would be better to sit down on the rear seat and belt up rather than keep falling over and landing on the floor. It might sound cruel, but I'd sooner her fall over a couple of times when I can control the level of braking rather than have to hit the anchors hard in a real emergency and see her fly between the seats and end up sailing through the windscreen.
Stupidity - cockle {P}
Must say that over the last couple of years I've been helping out with my son's under15/under13 cricket team as a 'taxi' to away games and have been amazed by the amount of lads who just jump in the back seat and don't put a belt on. I'm afraid I've got a reputation now as a miserable so and so because I refuse point blank to move the car until EVERYONE is belted up. On one occasion a lad refused to put a belt on, I took him back to his mother and told her that I wasn't prepared to take him as he wouldn't belt up. She then proceeded to question my parentage as well as my manhood so I left him, and her, standing there and went.
This sort of incident is exactly why I support our local police crackdown on unbelted children on the school run, if you catch them early enough it becomes second nature. My children have never travelled unrestrained and because of that they automatically look for a seatbelt, in fact my youngest couldn't understand why there aren't seatbelts in buses, trains and on the Tube on a recent trip to London!

Stupidity - Kuang
Yesterday on the way back home I stopped at a set of traffic lights on a busy single-lane road only to see a large Merc drive past with a head sticking out of the sunroof. The owner of the head in question can't have been more than about 7 years old, and so must have been either standing on the transmission tunnel or even on the edges of the front seats.

Silly enough, but even worse when you consider that the roof was at neck height and that road is notorious for people pulling out from driveways and junctions behind blind corners, often necessitating a rapid slam on the anchors..
Stupidity - volvoman
Sympathise Marcos and with the kids involved. Not their fault that their parents/guardians are stupid, selfish morons but there's plenty about and things like this really make you wonder about their mentality. This is just the sort of thing that people do and routinely get away with.... until the day they're killed/injured that is. No doubt the parents thought it was safe despite all the advice and commentary to the contrary. After all they'd done it hundreds of times before and nothing had ever happened had it. No, driving with out a seatbelt was safe and perhaps they thought all the furore was just a sign of a nanny state. That is until today - the day it happened to them. Perhaps now their views are different. Perhaps now they know that their actions have an impact on others, not only the children but for others involved like Marcos who will have to live with what he saw. How many others will emulate them though ? It really beggars belief !
Stupidity - Rob the Bus {P}
Rightly or wrongly, I often think that the parents who allow their children to travel unrestrained in the back deserve to be in a serious accident and experience first-hand the heart wrenching agony and the searing feeling of guilt that would ensue. They'd never think "it'll never happen to me" again.

I've lost count of the number of friends and acquaitances who insist that little Johnnie causes so much fuss that it's easier to let him take his belt off. The first time my little ones fiddled with their child seat buckles, I shouted at them so much that they never did it again. Trouble is, too many parents these days aren't prepared to upset their children, or feel bad if they make them cry. I know that I'd far rather have both of my girls upset and alive than dead.

Stupidity - No Do$h
A horrific and senseless act. Doubtless in this age of blame and counterblame, the driver of the van will be forced through every court in the land to atone for the parent's stupidity.

Regardless of where fault lies for the accident, the fault of the consequences lies squarely with the parents.

In order to drive a car, you have to pass a test. Shame the same doesn't apply to breeding.

My heart goes out to all concerned. The parents have done a thoroughly stupid thing, but I can't condemn them entirely at this time. They have already paid the ultimate price.

My particular sympathy lies with the van driver. I hope they are able to put this horific incident behind them and become a more thoughtful driver.
Stupidity - AngryJonny
My sympathies to those who have witnessed this sort of thing first hand. It must be awful. Any parents who are prepared to put their children in such danger should have their kids taken off them.

Incidentally, when I was a kid I was sick on the buckles of my child seat making the clasp too stiff for me to undo myself. From that point on my parents had to let me out of the seat. So I guess the lesson is to give your kids a big meal and then swerve around a few bends. It'll do them good in the long run.
Stupidity - Sooty Tailpipes
Round here, you always see big families of persons from distant lands with too many children to fit in the car (usually a Toyota) and so the parents (unrestrained) sit a child on their lap as a sort of cushion, so that if they crash, the child acts as a sacrificial crunch bag. I often wonder why the police never make great play when road deaths ocurr because of lack of restraint. You hear of children being thrown from cars (and adults) but you never have the Police criticising them on the news, they should get done for manslaughter, but they daren't even mention it as tehy probably think they have 'suffered enough'.
Stupidity - 8 ball
"Stupidity" what an excellent title for this scenario. Might I mention in passing the phenomenon of the Flying Killer West Highland White? Briefly it involves little Hamish, or whatever, having a wee snooze on the rear parcel shelf when forward motion is suddenly and rudely stopped for some reason. Hamish continues his forward progress, giving the Glasgow kiss to the driver or front seat passenger in the process. Poor Hamish, I reckon.

8 ball
Stupidity - cockle {P}
That silly Churchill nodding dog on the rear shelf could probably do a fair amount of damage as well!!

Stupidity - Mondaywoe
I absolutely agree with the sentiments of previous posts - but on a lighter note, I can (just!)recall when I was a little boy, my parents had a 1960 Hillman Minx. No seatbelts, of course in those days. I used to stand in the back, elbows resting on the back of the front (bench!) seat, one foot either side of the propshaft tunnel. Now I was quite tall for my age and Minxes had a courtesy light in the centre of the roof, with a plastic diffuser.

To put it in a nutshell - car goes over bump - head rises that crucial inch or so - light smashes!

I remember it stayed like that for years - patched with sellotape - until I was in my teens when I did the decent thing and got a replacement from a scrappie. By that time, I was nearly 6 feet tall and standing up had become a physical impossibility!

Happy days.
Stupidity - andymc {P}
Marcos, you chose an apt title for this thread. What a stupid, stupid, stupid waste of life. How appallingly unnecessary. The parent or carer driving the car will never be able to forgive themselves. I have seen a toddler covered in their own blood before now and it was the last time I saw that child alive - the image haunts me to this day. For your sake, I hope it is something you will eventually be able to leave behind.

On a related note, several years ago we stayed with my wife's sister for a few days. We didn't have a car with us and on a day when my sister-in-law had to go into work, the nanny gave us a lift into town along with our two little nephews. She "secured" them by simply wrapping the seatbelt around each child seat, rather than using the proper fixing points - almost useless. At the time my girlfriend (now wife) and I were quite young and didn't say anything, but we later suggested to the mother that she might want to ensure that the nanny knew how to do this. We were met with a very frustrated reaction - apparently the nanny had been instructed about this several times already. She was given her notice the same week. Normally I would feel incredibly guilty about causing someone to lose their job, but on this occasion I had no regrets at all.
Stupidity - JamesG
Not only seatbelts, but when I'm in the van/7.5tonner etc, so many people pull out infront of me, cut me up and burn off etc, with kids in the car. Now if someone pulls out I would brake (sometimes carry on going towards them at the same speed but back off when safe distance is exceeded, so they think I won't stop) but how do they know that I won't just run into them, perhaps, just supposing it has happened to me ten times that day and enough was enough? BANG! Speed differentral of 40 MPH isnt going to look nice. It's about time people stopped trusting the other bloke to help them out.

I'm sure if you had a go at them you would be told to "shut yaar 'bleep' marf up!" as they drive off in their white orion (not having a go at Fords I hasten to add) doing a wheelspin and chain smoking (not having a go at smokers either-its my number 1 weakness!) with the kids still in the back. Real generalisation and a little TIC I know but I've seen it happen!

Nothing to do with the 1st post but just a rant!
Stupidity - paulb {P}
Puts me in mind of sthg I saw near here on Saturday - Ford Mondeo estate, 2 adults in front, 3 kids in back, load of luggage in the boot, NOT ONE person in the car wearing a seatbelt. Darwin award candidates the lot of them.
Stupidity - No Do$h
That image of the white ford orion is spot-on. My sides are hurting from laughing at the memory of a thousand Wayne & Waynettas in knackered saloons, usually in the colours that nobody bought new, but always seem to be around secondhand, swathed in ciggy smoke and covered in children of all shapes and sizes, all clamouring for the back of mums hand.

And then I think back to how this thread started and suddenly I don't want to laugh any more. (Not aimed at you, JamesG, I chose to see humour there)

This weekend I have the very real privilege of my daughter's company for 48 hours. At just short of four years old, she means everything to me. I worry enough about her safety in the car when she's fully strapped in. I couldn't move my car in the driveway if she weren't fully fastened.

Thankfully this has been the norm from day one, so she insists on making sure the belt is fitted properly and if she doesn't think it's right, she is not going to let my drive the car!

I hope someone out there reads this thread and changes their habits.
Stupidity - HF
Oh Lord, what an absolutely depressing thread.

I am so sorry that you, Marcos, and Andymc too who also has first-hand knowledge of such an utterly awful, avoidable, and indescribably tragic thing, have had to witness this.

As everyone else has said - the parents/drivers are 100% to blame on this. I see, so often around here, the scenes described above, with overpacked cars full of unrestrained kids, and every time I just wonder why???

And it IS parental influence which causes this. I have forced my children to wear their seatbelts since day one. I would have it no other way. My oldest, who spends some time with his father, is now 13 years old and it *still* does not come naturally to him to fasten his seatbelt, because on his trips with his dad he has never been told to do this. My youngest, however, who is in a different situation, automatically fastens his belt the second he gets in the car, just the same as I do myself. And I am terrified every single time my eldest goes away, because I know that, beyond my control, these simple safety measures are just not being carried out.

Marcos's story sickens me, as does every single other story along similar lines.

As for adult passengers - well I certainly wouldn't carry one unless they wore a seat.

Be safe out there, and try and pass the message on. I know we will get earloads of abuse, but in this sort of situation it is worth it.

Stupidity - Andrew-T
To be totally and absolutely callous, HF (and others) if none of these horrendous (and stupid) things ever happened, driving would become crazier until they did. Someone has to suffer sometimes, if only to encourager les autres!
Stupidity - HF
Andrew-T, I am sorry, but I disagree entirely.

Kids should not have to suffer death or serious injury because of the neglect of their parents/carers.

I hope that this thread can 'encourager les autres' as you say, because it is about time that certain people wised up to the damage they are doing to their children and others.

I feel this very strongly, I really do. I just cannot bear to think of the image that Marcos described - and anything that can prevent any of us seeing anything like that ever again surely has to be welcomed?
Stupidity - volvoman
I'm sorry and I might get slated by some once again for this but everyone's condeming (myself included and quite rightly) the actions of those who chose to break the rules and ignore the safety message on this occasion. Did these people however do anything more serious than the serial speeders? They didn't think it was going to happen to them until it did. They thought it was safe until it wasn't. They thought people like me were stupid nannies hell bent on depriving them of their rights until we were proved right. I think everyone reading this thread should take a very close look at their own driving and the chances they take every day whether it be speeding, tailgating or anything else. There but for the grace of God go I !
Stupidity - Dan J
In response to Volvoman. I don't want to go into too much detail as otherwise this is the wrong thread. But sometimes late at night on some country lanes I know well, I really push my car and give it a good thrashing. I get a good buzz out of it and also (whether my opinion is right or wrong) believe I am doing it safely as you can see for miles on these roads at night and can easily identify any other vehicles. Now to be honest I do this far less frequently these days as I've grown up - but at the end of the day if I come off the road and wrap the car round a tree, who have I got to blame but myself? There'd only have been me in the car if I was driving like that anyway. I'm responsible for my own actions and me.

These people, whether they're driving discourtesly or not are still wilfully putting their own (or someone else's) kids in danger by not ensuring they are travelling safely. Kids who probably don't even know any better so they cannot be blamed. I find that unacceptable. And these people on the whole will never see that it is THEIR fault.

The recent advert showing on ITV says it all (for those who have seen it) - what if someone else hits you? The inconsiderate neanderthals in the front will no doubt be buckled up - and they'll be the first on the front of the Sun the next day to say that this evil person who hit their car and killed little Jimmy should be sent down forever etc - kindly neglecting that if he'd had his seat belt on and hadn't been stood between the front seats he'd still be alive today...

I have given a lift to family friends and their kids in the past. If the kids won't buckle up and the parents think it is too much trouble, I simply won't start the car - I've even walked off on occasions and left them there 'til they've decided common sense will prevail.
Stupidity - HisHonour {P}
In my car, if someone is in a seat without a seatbelt on, a warning flashes and buzzes. Surely it would be a simple matter for the ignition to be disabled until all relevant belts are engaged. I suppose there would need to be a gizmo that made sure the ignition is not diengaged in the event of someone undoing a belt in transit but this must surely be a necessary safety factor?
Stupidity - Dan J
To HisHonour

But of course, but whatever you get told about safety etc a manufacturer will only ever put anything on a car when they have to either through legislative reasons or competition.

The new Mondeo sounds a really irritating warning bell if you drive it without a seatbelt on. Has stopped my stepfather from doing it! But look back a few years - Cars sold in countries like Sweden ALL had seat belt warning lights and buzzers, and we're talking cars like Cortinas, Sierras, Cavalier/Vectras etc - of course over here and in other European countries they can save 100 quid by not having those sensors and electronics on the car, so of course they do...
Stupidity - volvoman
Hi Dan - you're right about this not being the right thread so I'll just say this. The circumstances clearly determine whether something is more or less dangerous and what you describe has a relatively low risk factor I'm sure. However, whenever I drive I'm conscious of the welfare of those who rely on me too - the wife and kids. If I do something stupid or put myself in a position whereby as the result of some technical failure, stray animal, act of God or whatever, I leave the carriageway at 90mph and get killed it may be my choice and my fault but it is they who will truly suffer. As their parent I am responsible.
Stupidity - Andrew-T
Sorry, HF, I think you misunderstood me. I don't WANT these things to happen any more than you do; I am just saying that they are going to happen to someone. These messages have been thrown at people for YEARS, but there will always be some (and I suspect, unfortunately, quite a lot) who either don't listen, don't believe it, or just don't care. No-one should suffer death or injury because of others' actions, but in a complex busy society where millions are playing dodgems on the roads every day as part of their job/lifestyle, a small number are going to. There are always some unreasonable risk-takers about.
Stupidity - HF
Hi Andrew-T,

I certainly didn't mean to imply that you *want* these things to happen - and I'm sorry if that's how it came across.

I do understand your point, and I suppose it is naive of me to even hope that somehow there will be an end to situations like the one described.

You are absolutely right that there will always be idiots around. Depressing, isn't it?
Stupidity - JamesG
One part of my post above was a little T-I-C on a serious thread, I meant it to be removed (not in the deleted sense) from the origional subject (I suffer from conversational tangent-itis). I wasn't trying to trivialise the subject matter.

Stupidity - PhilW
One aspect in this heart rending thread that I don't think has been mentioned (forgive me if it has) is how distracting to the driver it must be to have unbelted children messing about in the back of the car making them even more likely to have an accident. Until I saw some figures in the paper recently I assumed that almost everyone belted up. Now, when being driven, I often look out for the "unbelted" and have been amazed how many (30%?) of children in the back of cars seem to be unbelted. It's all down to the parents. Luckily, my children (now adults!) have never objected to belts and since we started them young always have found that belting up is automatic, but having to drive children often in a minibus I find that many don't belt up. My reaction is to say that since I'm the one responsible for their safety, unless they are belted, the bus does not move. They soon get the message, especially if they "slip" the belt and I stop. Mind you, I also have a colleague who drove a Volvo (240?) which had a warning buzzer and drove with it sounding all the time because "why should I belt up, no-one tells me what to do in my car". When I asked him why he drove on the left, stopped at red lights etc he replied that "it would be dangerous and stupid not to wouldn't it" and continued with his belt off and the buzzer going. Words failed me, but I have never travelled in his car since.
Perhaps the police should be more active, it may save innocent young lives. Are there any figures for the number of cars stopped, or proscecutions for the offence?
Stupidity - Obsolete
I learnt to drive a few years ago and until then was unaware about the law and back seat belts. I was also completely unaware of the dangers of not being restrained. In fact when I noticed rear seat belts I always thought it a bit quaint and never used them. I suspect that the authorities rely on TV advertising to get across the message but since I do not watch much TV I missed these adverts (assuming there were some). There's not much point in making laws if people do not know about them.
Stupidity - Andrew-T
Leif - I'm not sure what you are saying in your last sentence. There are shoals of rules/laws affecting drivers, some better known than others [about the only one I can think of that is not often ignored relates to red traffic lights]. Many of them start as death/injury-saving recommendations. The more thoughtless drivers ignore this, so the recommendation becomes law, which is usually broadcast in the press as well as TV/radio. There will still be drivers who travel day-to-day without thinking about the law until they are stopped for it. How do you make such people 'know'/conform to the rules?
Stupidity - Obsolete
Andrew-T: My point was simply that there is not much point in passing such a law if no-one knows that it exists. New drivers learn about this law in the theory test, but older drivers and non-drivers don't, unless they watch TV, which I didn't. In other words, such laws must be publicised more widely. Restricting publicity to the TV is unfair to people such as myself since ignorance of the law is not considered a defence.
Stupidity - No Do$h
James, you made a valid observation. We've all seen the scene you described and all too tragically it can lead to the images offered by Marcos.

You haven't trivialised it, which is why I mentioned that I saw humour there, but that this was my choice. Your comments served to remind people how prevalant this appalling behaviour is amongst responsible parents.

Hope I didn't appear to have a poke at you. My apologies for any upset caused.
Stupidity - tunacat
Another for the list:

There's a private junior school near my abode. Coincidentally (almost) with this thread, today I saw a mum dropping off her child at the school, slowing down from quite a rate of knots. I couldn't see what had been going on prior to the last 300 yds of the journey (the only part of it within my vision), but the child (aged about 8 years I guess) had from its midriff upwards sticking out of the sunroof. Goodness knows what would have happened if a stone, or a bee, had gone in the kid's eye whilst travelling along at 40mph, let alone a bump with another vehicle or even an emergency stop occurred.

The mum was driving a Honda CRV, its ownership no doubt partly justified by it being 'safer'.

Just like the other mum I saw the other week picking one child up from the school in a Range Rover. The child hopped in the back and languished unbelted whilst his mum made the right turn into the main road whilst diligently chatting into the cellphone held to her ear...
Stupidity - henryb
...almost makes we wish for a "Wear your seatbelt" public information campaign (starring the late Princess of Wales, of course).

This thread also reminded me of the Daimler my dad had when I was young. No seatbelts and very shiny leather seats meant that when my dad went round a corner my sister and I, in the back (bench) seat, would slide from one side of the car to the other. Of course this car didn't go as fast or accelerate or brake as hard as modern cars so it probably wasn't that unsafe. One of my dad's current cars doesn't have seatbelts (1929 Armstrong-Siddley) and it feels weird getting in and not belting up.

Stupidity - SR
Sorry for repeating a comment previously made on another thread, but it's relevant here.

Recently saw someoone driving along a local street in an ageing Astra convertible with a child of about 5 or 6 standing on the passenger seat, holding onto the top of the windscreen....
Stupidity - JamesG
Not at all NoDosh- thanks for the reply, no offence etc, and you are right it is prevalent! I was just worried that I'd posted something a bit too jovial looking at it the next day. I'm glad you noticed my post in the first place ;)

This subject has just reminded me of seeing a freelander being driven down a country lane with a young-ish boy sitting on the (open) window ledge with his legs inside the car and holding on to the roof!

Stupidity - PhilW
My wife is a teacher and two boys were suspended last week for riding ON TOP of the school bus! God knows how they got there but there sure as hell wasn't a seat belt up there! They did it "for a laugh" they said.
Stupidity - Obsolete
20 years ago 5 of us went to a rock music festival in a friends Triumph Spitfire. 2 sat in the front, and three - including myself - sat on the back of the car with our feet dangling in the cramped rear seat area. It was fun when doing 60 mph. We passed a police car with no problems. Looking back it was dangerous and ill-advised. Times and attitudes change.
Stupidity - No Do$h
Leif, is that were you first got interested in Mycology? I understand that mushrooms are quite common at festivals.....
Stupidity - No Do$h
Leif, is that were you first got interested in Mycology?
I understand that mushrooms are quite common at festivals.....

Hmmm. Must go back to English Language teacher and repeat "where, not were" 100 times.
Stupidity - Dipstick
Why can't the cars themselves be more helpful when it comes to fastening seatbelts? On mine, if an occupant isn't belted, a light flashes. Well big deal. How about a beeper that gets louder the longer you go on unbelted or the faster you go? How about rigging it into the immobiliser? How about poison spikes in the nether regions? Come on manufacturers, this is a no brainer, surely just a few quid to add a real warning, and of course all they really care about is selling cars, so it can be puffed as a wonderful safety feature.

I know that's no good for the vast quantities of cars out there now, but if a better system were added today then most cars on the road in a few years would have it.

Stupidity - Dan J
How about rigging it into the immobiliser?

Because there are situations where you don't want your seatbelt on such as when reversing.

Things are changing though - I forget my belt occasionally but the new Mondeo makes such an irritating "pinging" noise as soon as you let the handbrake off you soon strap yourself in!
Come on manufacturers, this is a
no brainer, surely just a few quid to add a real

Yep - and because of competition in the safety arena it is happening (note that the gov't will pay for ads telling people to wear their seatbelt but won't create legislation for manufacturers as happened in Sweden). But you highlight the point, it costs money - doesn't matter that it is a few quid...

Stupidity - Dynamic Dave
Don't forget, some people are also seatbelt exempt. My late grandmother was due to her having a pacemaker fitted. Would that mean a trip to the dealer to get him to reprogram the ECU to disable the belt reminder alarm?
Stupidity - Hugo {P}
A number of years ago, I was duped into giving lifts to a couple of women with various children for only a few miles.

These two women , proceeded to take over the seating arrangements, with comments like "surely you can squeeze 4 in the back seat of this thing" and "Little Possessed can sit on my lap" etc.

"I decide who sits where and how many travel in the car" came my reply.

Problem solved.

Stupidity - Hugo {P}
I saw a local news article about a child who was in a child seat having survived a horrific crash without so much as a bruise.

I don't know how it happened but the front and rear of the car appear to have parted company when hit side on by another vehicle. The kid was in the rear on his own and, despite being pushed 50 feet across the road, was unhurt.

There were no serious injuries, one assumes the parents simply went and got him.

Stupidity - Altea Ego
Why can't the cars themselves be more helpful when it comes
to fastening seatbelts? On mine, if an occupant isn't belted, a
light flashes.

On my laguna, it makes an irritating pinging noise when you get above 5mph with a flashing light untill you buckle up.
Come on manufacturers, this is a
no brainer, surely just a few quid to add a real
warning, and of course all they really care about is selling
cars, so it can be puffed as a wonderful safety feature.

The Luguna II originally had just a flashing light. When it went for NCAP testing they said we will give you an extra point and a 5 star rating if this is improved. A few minor changes to the ECU provided the pinging feature, extra point and 5 star rating obtained. Renault now have 5 cars with 5 star ratings. Megane II. Luguna II, Vel satis, new Espace.

Safety sells these days.
Stupidity - Altea Ego
ooopps Forgot Scenic 2
Stupidity - Dan J
Safety sells these days.

I guess as far as Renaults are concerned, as long as you stand well behind the Armco whilst you're waiting for the RAC, they must be pretty safe these days :)

* ducks for cover *
Stupidity - Altea Ego
Its safer IN the car while waiting for the RAC
Stupidity - hillman
My elder brother was a police mobile patrol man for a number of years. He told me of an accident where the two men in the front seat wore belts, and the two in the back did not. When the car hit something solid the two rear men collided heads with the two front, resulting in four dead men.
Stupidity - paulb {P}
On the subject of seatbelt warning lights - I remember in 1982 or thereabouts my father bought a new Volvo 245 DL estate, with seatbelts fitted front and rear, which had a big red light with a picture of a figure wearing a seatbelt on the middle of the dash and another on the rear of the centre console. These used to flash rapidly and make a quite singularly irritating "tickatickatickaticka" noise if it detected anyone in any seat (even the modest pressure exerted by self, aged 6, on booster cushion) where the seatbelt wasn't done up.

Perhaps Volvoman can confirm whether more recent models have this feature? Seems daft that something which Volvo fitted to their cars as standard over 20 years ago should be beyond most manufacturers these days. Most seatbelt lights I've seen lately only come on if the driver isn't belted up, which seems a bit pointless.
Stupidity - Dan J
confirm whether more recent models have this feature?

Yes they do...
Seems daft that something which Volvo fitted to their cars
as standard over 20 years ago should be beyond most manufacturers
these days.

See my earlier post. It isn't. It's just cheaper.

In the same way US cars have been fitted with catalytic convertors since '73 and Sweden not far off that - all due to legislation. Cats are expensive items and require more costly controlling equipment which a car driver gets no benefit for paying extra for at the end of the day. Therefore, until it emissions laws were tightened here, you didn't see any cat fitted cars til near that time.
Stupidity - Dan J
New Volvo S40 has seatbelt reminders that function on all seats, front and rear...
Stupidity - greenhey
Near me there's a school where affluent mums and dads have campaigned in the last couple of years against a mobile phone mast and about paedophiles.
The chance of serious injury from the phone mast is very remote, actually the most likely cause would be if it fell over on you .
Re the paedophiles, over 90% of child abuse is committed by a member of the child's family, not some bloke on a street corner .
Yet these people mobilised their time and energy on these things.
But if you observed the school at drop-off or pick-up time you would see the mums and dads in their X5s ,CRVs ,Shoguns, etc , double parking so as to restrict the view of passing motorists ,and then taking their children away unbelted .In some cases the parents have been clever enough to avoid the belt-warning alarm by clipping the belt fastened permanently and sitting on the (presumably, uncomfortable) buckle.
Why is it that people get wound up about remote dangers and do nothing about simple ones of much greater likelihood that they can counteract? It is actually one of the biggest scandals around today. If they are oblivious to the harm they expose their children to, they also ignore the distress caused to the emergency and medical services who pick up the mess.
Stupidity - joe
I have never carried my children in my car without them being in the correct child seat and firmly belted in. This is as much for my protection as theirs. It is all a bit of a contrast to my folks days, I remember that when I was a nipper we were just slung in the back of the estate with a couple of cushions. A bloke I know is a retired dentist, and he used to take his family to Cornwall on holiday each summer, driving from Norfolk overnight. Not only would they be in the back of the Volvo, but he would sedate them with a little something from his pharmacy supplies so they would sleep the whole way! Imagine trying that today...

We could learn a thing or two from the US about getting our kids to schools. The system they have there (those yellow safety busses) seems much more safety concious than the ad hoc system here. Parents are left with little choice but to drive their offspring to school, and lack of space to park means that it is always going to be clogged up at closing time.
Stupidity - Chas{P}
>Near me there's a school where affluent mums and dads have >campaigned in the last couple of years against a mobile phone >mast

A new cell site = better signal for the surrounding area. Phones would then operate at a reduced output and reduce the allegedly harmful radiation. The cell site itself pushes out less than 10 watts of power at 900 or 1800 Mhz depending on the network.

The higher frequency is getting close to microwaves and therefore the concern to health. However nobody ever worries about their 800 watt microwave oven in their kitchen.

Just relaying some pointers from a relative of mine that works in the industry....

Stupidity - tunacat
Reminds me of 'Countryfile' on BBC TV yesterday - some parents were going to take their kids out of the school if a mast got built nearby - something to do with railway line signalling (ok, I admit that's as close as I'm going to get to motoring-related here), in Devon I think.

It struck me that these same parents deliberately give their kids a cellphone which they then have held to the side of their skulls / a foot from their face / clipped on belts or carried in pockets inches from their reproductive organs, seemingly for the greater part of each day!

At least the microwaves in an oven are intended to be contained within.

It's a contradictory world all right.
Stupidity - drbe
I operate an airport car service. An customer of mine asked recently if I would take him with his family, totalling five humans to the airport. I pointed out to him that I couldn't as I am only licensed to carry 4 passengers, but I could fix him up with a people carrier at extra cost.

He then said that the youngest child is only 2 and could sit on someone's lap. I said that there would only be enough seatbelts for 4 passengers, I was only licensed to carry 4 passengers and I was insured (hire and reward) for a maximum of 4 passengers.

He persisted! I then pointed out - firmly - that while he might be prepared to put his children into, effectively, an uninsured car. I wasn't prepared to risk my licences and my hard earned money - because I am sure he would have sued me if there had been an accident.

People never cease to amaze.

Stupidity - SR
Re. the posts about ignoring the dangers of parking outside schools and unrestrained children, I made the same points (including the bit about low power and the relative likely effects) to a local school who were stirring up opposition to mobile phone masts. I was told that they were entitled to object as it was a matter of personal freedom - the mast puts people in danger without them knowing, but people are free to make the choice to give their kids mobiles to fry their brains with, choose to leave them bouncing about in the back of a car....

Just wish they'd concentrate on education rather than political battles.

Value my car