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Old 11-01-2013, 04:13 PM
Location: Northern Minnesota
28,760 posts, read 2,359,706 times
Reputation: 7444


Originally Posted by Moman1 View Post
Wow! I leave the conversation for a couple days (Halloween was a crazy day) and there has been some great discussion on here. I certainly appreciate the thoughts from everyone (and I do mean everyone) as everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I value that.

I'm still waiting for a response from my email to the CSPD regarding the situation. I'm anticipating a politically correct response that mentions that it's not good practice at least and at most, violates the "unattended" aspect. I have a hard time believing that anybody with a rational mind would say it is neglect in the situation I originally described. Now doing this while running into Walmart to "just get a couple things", is entirely different than my situation. I would never do this for anything where the car was not in my sight and/or over a minute of time. As technology changes, so should our laws and mentalities.

Someone mentioned a car going into neutral by a two year old. In my situation, without the key being inside the car (I take it with me), the transmission is locked in park.

@ Dreaming: I have put some thought into not having the engine running. Someone mentioned that earlier and I think it's a valid thought. I mentioned earlier that I could argue either side and argue it well. I also understand what you're saying about the mother and the stroller. But this situation is different and can't be compared to that. But I get your meaning.

@ Bongo: Valid point. I will look that up as well. Thanks for the tip.

@ Toxicavenger: You mentioned "what if someone ran into my parked car..." Well, I wouldn't have been able to stop that from happening if I were in the car still so what's the difference? Actually, I could probably react better from not being in the car because I wouldn't be hurt or dazed. As for the exhaust leak, the car is a 2013 Lincoln. While I agree it COULD happen, I will argue all day that the chances rank right up there with an electrical short that makes the climate control jump to 150 degrees. Not trying to poke fun at you, but we're not talking about an old POS. And lastly, are you seriously comparing leaving a 2 year old buckled in a locked running car with climate control and passive electronic restraints for the transmission and locks to giving a child a knife to play with? I understand you were just trying to make a point but c'mon man!

Again, I'm still waiting for a response from the CSPD regarding this. I will heed whatever they respond with. Everyone's opinions, while I do value them, are still just opinions. The law is the law. Interpretation of those laws are entirely up to the people of this city/county/state/country and their respective lawyers. There are a lot of strong opinions on here regarding the thought of leaving a car running for 60 seconds and leaving a child in a car unattended. Regardless of your opinions though, please don't ruin someone else's lives by calling the police in a situation like this. Think before you call. And that goes for a lot of things. Now if the child's life is truly in danger, then call. Otherwise, you could be shattering a family forever because of your own personal opinions.

Sorry this is so long. The thoughts just kept coming! ;-)
You have made a lot of valid points. Even though I am one of those people who never leave children in a car unattended (for me it is now my grandchildren) I do agree with the part I bolded above. Like you said, of course call the police if the child's life is truly in danger. I think if someone sees something that is questionable all a person has to do is hang around for a minute or so to see if the adult returns. Then they'll know if it was truly danger.

Your last sentence is what struck a cord with me the most because it is so true that a family's life could be shattered over something that could have been handled differently. Like I said, all a person needs to do is hang around for a minute or so to find out whether or not there is neglect involved.

That being said I'd still get a special pair of "car slippers" and take the child inside with you.

Old 11-02-2013, 01:09 AM
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,737,637 times
Reputation: 7078
Originally Posted by Colorado^ View Post
I assume you meant from park to neutral? Next time use the park brake and make sure the kid is properly secured in their car seat - problem solved.

Also it's not a bad idea to point the front wheels so the car won't roll far if it's on a hill.

Plenty of bad things can happen to a kid who's outside of the car as well.

It's a shame our best judgement has be taken away from us and replaced with a blanket law. IMHO there are definitely times when it's irresponsible and negligent, but there are other times where it's perfectly safe. I don't do it because there's always going to be some zealot with CPS on speed dial.

Maybe if the government is going micromanage how we raise our children, they can come around and change a few dirty diapers.
Yes, I had it backward. The keys were not in the ignition, but I didn't have the parking brake on as it was "just for a second". I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined he could have gotten out of his car seat in the first place, or that by inadvertently knocking the gear shift (automatic) it would slip out of park into neutral. Huge eye opener...
Old 11-03-2013, 12:59 PM
2,784 posts, read 2,567,430 times
Reputation: 3727
Originally Posted by Marcy1210 View Post
Yes, I had it backward. The keys were not in the ignition, but I didn't have the parking brake on as it was "just for a second". I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined he could have gotten out of his car seat in the first place, or that by inadvertently knocking the gear shift (automatic) it would slip out of park into neutral. Huge eye opener...
That must have been a traumatic experience. Glad it all turned out OK.
Old 11-04-2013, 08:58 AM
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,348,896 times
Reputation: 2668
I went into a Gas Station Convenience Store this weekend and on my way in I walked past a car with two unattended kids strapped into child seats in the back. At first didn't think much of it because it was pretty obvious to me that the parent had just run inside for something. But then I thought of this thread, so I stopped and looked around for a moment. Of course a man came out within seconds and got in with them. I hoped he didn't think I was about to call CPS on hime, since I wasn't thinking that way at all. I was just enjoying seeing it from a new perspective.

On the other hand… Immediately after that I went over to a neighborhood where we had some people to visit. After some time, I walked to the end of one street to get my car and move it closer to where my family was at. The street was long and narrow and I didn't want to U-Turn in the middle of it so I drove all the way down to the next cross street to turn around and then came back. As soon as I parked, some guy zoomed around me and stopped right in front of me, jumped out and asked me what I was doing there. I told him. His wife (from inside the car) said they're on the neighborhood watch, and he said that my driving was suspicious. I said 'No problem, I understand', and then they left. My wife and kids were three houses away the whole time. NOTE: I'm trying not to exaggerate the account in my favor. I did leave out some details for the sake of discretion, but that's the spirit of what happened

Now, I'm not saying he did anything wrong by keeping an eye out for his own neighborhood. I do the same. But people need to remember that neighborhood watch/concerned citizen does not = cop/judge. It's not your job to confront people and tell them that they're being suspicious or whatever. In fact, if I really were an armed 'bad guy' looking for trouble, I may well have found it with this guy jumping out of his car and aggressively coming at me. Your job is just to 1) be visible, which is the best deterrent and 2) report suspicious behavior through proper channels. That may mean calling the police in some cases, but usually it's better to just let other neighbors know so that they can be alert to a particular activity. My neighborhood has an email list for that and it works great. Most 'suspicious' vehicles are quickly accounted for that way, without any uncomfortable confrontations.

Admittedly I may sort of be venting here, even though I wasn't really wronged in any way, but mostly I wish people would think about how to handle such things before just jumping into cowboy mode. The same thing applies to people who witness things like children being left attended. Just the fact that you are around is a good thing, because it helps reduce the likelihood that some 'bad guy' will show up to harm some unattended kid(s). Also, it gives you the opportunity to see what's going on first hand and report any serious problems as needed through proper channels. But like geebabe said, it's best to give people the benefit of the doubt first and wait to see if it's really a big deal or not. Even if it is, you should avoid aggressively confronting someone about it on your own, especially if you don't know the facts. On the other hand, if you know the person, or otherwise have a chance to talk to them about it in a friendly way, then there's nothing wrong with helping them reason it out on their own to the wisest conclusion. Which is pretty clear in this case: "car slippers".
Old 11-04-2013, 10:55 AM
162 posts, read 480,670 times
Reputation: 88
Good points otterprods! Reading your post reminds me of another situation I had about 6 months ago. I was coming out of Petsmart (my dog's appointment) and was carrying my then 1.5 year old in my arms, a sack full of treats and dog toys, and my 5 month old puppy on a leash. My 6 year old was walking next to me. My puppy was not fully leash trained yet and was literally pulling me out the door. As she was doing this, she was making herself choke and cough - not that this was slowing her down. A woman driving by with the window down yelled "Aw, look, he's choking his dog." Then proceeded to either make a phone call or act like she was. I said "really? I'm choking her? She's pulling me out of the store and I'm choking her?" I'm doing everything I can to stop her from running into the parking lot uncontrolled! She said "You need to be reported!" Then I said "You don't even know what's going on here and you need to mind your own d@$n business!" I put the dog in the back of the SUV, strapped the kids in, and took off before she really did call someone. Even though I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong, love my dog to pieces. I didn't want to take the chance of having someone else poke and prod into my family's life because some lady THINKS she knows what was going on. Even now, just writing this has me pissed off again.

Anyway, just to reiterate what has already been said; Regardless of your opinions and convictions, don't over-react when you see someone going against what you would do yourself unless there is truly a dangerous situation occuring. Everyone may not agree with my actions for either leaving my child in the car for 60 seconds or for "choking" my dog coming out of a store. But most rational people would have to agree that these are not situations for someone to have their lives uprooted for. Imagine if you swat your kid's hand because he is reaching for a hot stove. Then, that day at school, they have an assembly that talks about child abuse in the home and your child says you hit him that morning. Next, social services is knocking at your door and possibly taking your kids away. It sounds ubsurd I know. But it happens. It is supposed to be an "innocent until proven guilty" society, but we all know that in this world, a simple phone call can send your life spirally out of control.

As for my original post/question, I have not received a response from the CSPD yet and since I am of the opinion that I am not doing anything wrong, and I have not read enough valid arguement contrary to my opinion, I will continue to do what I am doing. If CSPD says otherwise, I'll change.

Thank you everyone for the interesting discussion. Again, I appreciate all points of views and opinions and appreciate you providing yours.
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