Oh boy! Here’s your daily duh, just in time for Child Passenger Safety Week, which reminds us that “car crashes are the No. 1 killer of children ages 1 to 12 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The correct child-safety seat installed properly is a strong weapon against these statics.” And yet, Marine Giovanni Madrid and his wife Angelina, a young couple stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, allowed their 2-year-old son Giovanni to sit in his dad’s lap and steer the car on a rainy road in the presence of oncoming traffic. Not a smart move! While many of us were allowed to do stuff like this when we were small children, usually it was on a dry, sunny day in the middle of the country on very quiet roads or in the driveway — and during a time before car seat regulations were in place. This incident took place in a high-traffic area, and the couple was caught because they filmed their son driving and posted the video on Facebook.
According to ABC affiliate WCTI12, “Legal experts say this violates several traffic laws including careless and reckless driving as well as a child-restraint violation.” Footage of the incident as well as the parents’ reaction is below. The worst part? Dad jokes about his toddler son being his designated driver. That joke would be hilarious if I didn’t think he was serious.
I’m not the type of person who is super quick to judge other parents. I’m generally sympathetic when people make mistakes — because everyone does — and I hate it when parents are filmed by other people making those mistakes. I said that we should cut the couple who put the kid in the washing machine some slack. I don’t like that the woman who took a picture of the lady who potty trained her kids in the restaurant didn’t have the balls to go talk to her about her decision but instead decided to make fun of her online about it. But in this case, the parents filmed themselves making a bad decision, had time to decide whether or not this was the kind of thing they should share publicly, and shared it anyway. Clearly they’re young and just don’t have great judgement. Based on her interview with ABC, the mother in this story seems to have learned her lesson and to be sorry, but I think that’s more because she’s worried that her husband might be kicked out of the military, not because she realized she and her husband endangered the lives of their whole family and others on the road as well.
As Lindsay Mannering succinctly put it on The Stir, “You’re allowed to make bad decisions as a parent (for the most part), but common sense should stop you from sharing those not-awesome decisions with the world. Because once someone starts taking pride in their poor choices, that’s when you have to begin to worry.”
For the record, I don’t think this couple should be punished, but I do hope they understand the real reason why what they did was wrong. Your take?