Momma’s right arm

Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

 

As a little child, riding in the car in the days before seatbelts, I remember my mother braking really hard and simultaneously reaching her right arm out to pin me back in my seat. It happened so fast; I thought I had been slammed back in the seat by a football player and not my mother. I couldn’t accurately judge the speed or the amount of force my mother used, but it was impressive.

In the old days, what mother would brake real hard just to watch their child slide off the vinyl front seat (like it was greased) and be hurled towards their vehicle’s massive metal dashboard and not try to catch the child? It was the only protection a caring mother had available in the old days.

I tell this story because today we have child passenger restraints, air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, collision avoidance systems, crumple zones and other incredible lifesaving technology that is better than momma’s right arm during braking. None of this wonderful technology can work if momma doesn’t use it.

Today, with all the technology available, some parents are not being very caring. Within the last couple of weeks, the Southern Ute Police Department has pulled over several uncaring parents on traffic stops. The children were either not in their car seats or no car seats were inside the vehicle. Some children were even standing up inside the car when the officer made the approach to the driver.

Momma’s right arm is not a suitable safety device for a caring parent compared to today’s technology. One loose child ricocheting around the inside of a vehicle during a crash can kill other siblings and even parents within the vehicle.

All of these parent’s had excuses for why their children were not being protected. None of the excuses were valid or reasonable enough make up for their lack of caring. Whether an underage child placed on a passenger seat in front of an airbag that could kill them or the child is strapped to a car seat that is left unstrapped to the car, no parent should be allowed to put their child in danger of injury or death when there are so many ways to prevent it.

Momma’s right arm might have been all she had back in the day but the truth is, children still died. Children are better protected today but only if we use that protection. The Southern Ute Police Department would like to see more people using that protection. A child passenger safety technician is available at 970-563-0246.

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