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I called 911- tell me I wasn't being ridiculous. - Page 2

post #21 of 158
I don't know if I would have called, but I don't think there's anything wrong with you having called. You have to do what you can live with, you know? If you would have felt bad about not having called, then for you calling was the right thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
My DH agrees that it's obviously unsafe, but he told me (and frequently tells me) "You're not the police. You can't be everyone's mommy. You have good intentions but sometimes you just need to let people learn their lesson."
This quote just strikes me as sort of funny, because ... obviously you're not the police, that's why you called them. And "learning his lesson" for this guy may have meant having an officer approach him and have a short discussion about biking safely with children. I dunno, it just kind of cracks me up that your DH's big argument against calling could just as easily be seen as an argument *for* calling.

ETA: Regarding the side convo, helmets for kids under 18 is the law where I live too. The law reads, "This requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle." In a quick Google search, it appeared that Illinois doesn't have a helmet law, but I'm not sure how updated the web page I looked at was.
post #22 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
Minors without bike helmets is not illegal where you are? It's been illegal since I was a kid everywhere we've lived. Under 18, helmet required, no exceptions.
Where we are, it's 12 and under and only if they're driving the bicycle.
post #23 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
That's interesting. As far as I know, no one's ever been arrested for this where we live. The other day some child teased my dd saying, "What kid wears a helmet?" -- and I piped up and said, "A kid who does't want a brain injury!" and I got looked at kinda funny.

I don't know if it's the law, but I just know that, during college and shortly after graduating, I met two different women who'd had their lives majorly disrupted by brain injuries.

Both young women had been riding along, sans helmets, when they suddenly flipped over and landed on their heads, I think in both cases due to hitting a rock. My college friend actually suffered permanent paralysis of one side of her mouth or face due to the injury...

So to me it's just a no-brainer to take the extra few seconds it takes to strap on that helmet, and dd agrees even though it makes her head sweat. But I guess most other parents haven't had my opportunities to meet brain-injured young people. Or maybe they think their own children are too smart to hit a rock the wrong way.

If people question me about why dd has to wear a helmet, I tell them about this horrible risk. So far I've only been questioned by kids, no parents, but I'm always hopeful that some of them might pass on the story or stories to their parents, and ask their parents to keep them safe, too. This doesn't seem to have happened so far. And our police seem pretty busy with other stuff just like the ones in Chicago.
I've not been aware of it being an arrest-able offense, but one where the parents get fined. Even if the parent was unaware the child was not wearing a helmet, the law was such that the child HAS TO. They drummed this into our heads when we were in school and doing bike safety week or whatever it was.

My DH's spin has been that anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet has some suicidal tendencies. Kind of like not wearing a seatbelt. It shows just a total lack of concern for one's life and well-being to not be willing to be minorly inconvenienced or uncomfortable for the sake of your life.... I don't get it.
post #24 of 158
I would have called 911. Yes, the cop couldn't see the eratic driving, but he DID see the kids in the makeshift bike seat and without helmets, so it's clear that the man was riding the bike with the children in that manner (this was in a public place, not in front of their house.) I don't know what the laws are in IL, but in NY there are laws about bike helmets on kids under 14, and a police officer seeing what you described would likely contact CPS. Even if there are no laws requiring helmets for kids in IL, if the officer felt the situation was unsafe, he could have called CPS anyway.
post #25 of 158
No, I wouldn't have thought to call 911 on that one.
post #26 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
yes *should have" helmets on everyone.

neither of which is illegal.

It's illegal here for kids 12 and under to not wear helmets, not that that seems to be enforced.
post #27 of 158
I can't imagine minding my own business if I saw someone putting their children's lives, not to mention the lives of other drivers, in danger. You did the right thing.
post #28 of 158
NC requires all children under 16 to wear a helmet if they are the bike driver.

And, "All child passengers falling at or below 40 pounds/40 inches, must be carried in a separate restraining seat. "

But, the fine is only 10 stupid dollars.
post #29 of 158
We are an avid cycling family and frequently take our daughter out in a trailer hooked up to my bike. There are probably plenty of people who think that it is serious child endangerment to pull my child in a bike trailer in traffic, but there are also people who think that all bicycles should ride on the sidewalk (which is illegal in our state because it's so dangerous), so I don't pay too much attention to the people who yell out their car windows about how I'm endangering my child.

When you're biking with a child, you need to be incredibly more careful than when you're biking alone, but some things are more risky than others. Someone riding with children on the bike as you describe is not necessarily putting them in danger. (Seatbelts, for example, aren't necessary if they're on the back of a tricycle, and depending on the setup, could even be more dangerous in that situation.) Putting them on the bike without helmets, in traffic, and cutting across lanes of traffic without signalling traffic to slow down, is putting them in danger, IMO.

It's hard to judge without having been there, because like a PP said, lots of people see all bicycling as inherently dangerous, especially when you're trying to make a legal left-hand turn (which often requires cutting across several lanes of traffic and putting the bike into the very center of the road).

I think that if I saw this I probably would have called, too, even though I normally avoid calling police for pretty much everything. The police in our community don't have a very good track record when it comes to treating people with respect and appropriateness, though -- I've seen too many innocent people get arrested or beat up or verbally abused by our city's finest. I've spent some time locked up in the muni jail myself, too (don't worry, I meant to be there), and it's the filthiest and most dehumanizing place I've ever been. I can't imagine doing anything that might send someone there for any reason. But in this case, yes, I would have called. Someone who endangers children by riding in such a way that they are at risk needs a serious wake-up call, and there are many many wake-up calls that are better than having a child seriously injured or, heaven forbid, killed.
post #30 of 158
Honestly, If I saw a guy with a make shift seat for his kids on a bike with no helmets I would assume he (they) were doing the best they could. To me this situation seems an action of people in poverty not people willfully trying to put their kids in danger. The flat tire could be why he had some erratic biking.

I don't see how ticketing them or having the harassed by police helpful. What if they did stop him. Told him not to put the kids on the bike or threaten to arrest him. Now he has to push the bike and keep two kids in control over a busy street.
post #31 of 158
I wouldn't have called - but then I've never called 911 or the cops on anyone in my life.

That said, I don't think what you did was wrong; you were obviously concerned for the little girls.
post #32 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
I love your dh's response "you're not the police." Ummm...that is WHY you called the police!

I think you did the right thing.
This, exactly. I would have called.
post #33 of 158
I would have called the police, 911 if I didn't have the local number. I call when I see aggressive drivers or what appears to be drunk drivers. As a citizen how can I not step in and help the police protect my life?

How would the OP feel if she saw on the news that night that those kids died? That's why I call in drivers who will likely cause accidents and could kill someone. I'm not a passive person.

I also vote
post #34 of 158
I would have called. Lots and lots of people die in bike accidents here. Also, I don't think the police "have better things to do". They don't send detectives out to police this sort of thing. The cops who regulate traffic are the same ones who write parking tickets. I've probably had 15 parking tickets since moving to this city. If the cops have the time to write parking tickets for a meter that expired 2 seconds ago, they have time to talk to a father about endangering the life of his children.
post #35 of 158
I think you did the right thing, and am sure I would have done the same if I had my cell phone on me. If I had seen this and had not reported it, I would have had a guilty conscience and the constant worry that something may happen to the children and no one spoke up when it could be prevented.
post #36 of 158
You weren't being ridiculous all. It sounds like those kids were in real danger, and the man was a hazard to the rest of the drivers on the road.
post #37 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Honestly, If I saw a guy with a make shift seat for his kids on a bike with no helmets I would assume he (they) were doing the best they could. To me this situation seems an action of people in poverty not people willfully trying to put their kids in danger. The flat tire could be why he had some erratic biking.

I don't see how ticketing them or having the harassed by police helpful. What if they did stop him. Told him not to put the kids on the bike or threaten to arrest him. Now he has to push the bike and keep two kids in control over a busy street.

This.

I would not have called.
Only once in my live have I called 911 on a drunk driver, and they were CLEARLY drunk. They were swerving from curb to curb on a 2 lane road.

I just don't feel comfortable "mothering" everyone else in regards to their personal safety.
post #38 of 158
It's against the law here for anyone to ride a bike without a helmet (not sure I completely agree with the law for personal reasons...but regardless it's on the books) so I most likely would have called. All it takes is one wrong move either on the part of the car or the bicyclist and someone can die, literally instantly. That's worth a phone call to 911.
post #39 of 158
I would not have called the police. However I don't think calling was wrong either. I am not at all concerned about the seat or the no helmets. he is on a trike.

however he was driving erratically in traffic.
post #40 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Honestly, If I saw a guy with a make shift seat for his kids on a bike with no helmets I would assume he (they) were doing the best they could. To me this situation seems an action of people in poverty not people willfully trying to put their kids in danger. The flat tire could be why he had some erratic biking.

I don't see how ticketing them or having the harassed by police helpful. What if they did stop him. Told him not to put the kids on the bike or threaten to arrest him. Now he has to push the bike and keep two kids in control over a busy street.
This is exactly what i thought. Esp. where i live there are many low income migrant families where probably that kind of transportation was the norm from where they came. i probably would have gone and told the dad that its illegal to not have helmets on the kids. yeah CA is strict. anyone under 18 has to wear a helmet - whether passenger or not.

however being in CA and having lived in a low income area i am more aware of signs of poverty than not.
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