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I called 911- tell me I wasn't being ridiculous. - Page 3

post #41 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
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.
The guy was weaving in and out of traffic and went into the oncoming lane of traffic. The OP said she didn't call because of the type of bike or the lack of helmets but because of the erratic driving.
post #42 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
To me this situation seems an action of people in poverty not people willfully trying to put their kids in danger.
I'm trying really hard to understand this line of thinking. Are you saying that if a poor person endangers himself, his children and bystanders that we are to look the other way? At what income level do we start to protect the children? What does a person have to earn before consequences apply to them?
post #43 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama View Post
I would have called the non-emergency number first. I think that the safety of children is the responsibility of everybody, especially a situation that can involve serious head injury or death.
I respectfully disagree. The safety of children is not the responsibility of everybody...

OP. I would have stopped and talked to the man to see if there was something going on, such as him being drunk (If my husband was with me) if he seemed to be I would have called the police and waited for them to arrive. If I didn't talk to him I wouldn't call. I see things every day that are dangerous for kids.Sadly some people are not as concerned with safety as I am.
post #44 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
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.
How is his bike safer, if rear ended, than a two wheeled bike? I am curious

I would not have confronted him, and would have called the non-emergency number.

I am actually surprised that so many posters think this would be okay.

When answering the question how would the same people that responded that it was not a big deal if it were changed slightly to: if you hired a babysitter and you were driving down a busy street and saw them in the back of a trike, in a basket, with no helmets, and the sitter was riding in a dangerous manner. Would you continue to drive....because it really doesn't bother you? Just curious if the answer would change if it was your own children.
post #45 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
I'm trying really hard to understand this line of thinking. Are you saying that if a poor person endangers himself, his children and bystanders that we are to look the other way? At what income level do we start to protect the children? What does a person have to earn before consequences apply to them?
Who are we really protecting the children from? If you turn someone in and they are deemed unfit, is it always for the best?? Because they were driving with their kids on a bike in a less than safe manner? It's not as if the OP saw the child being physically or verbally harmed. Would *I* do that with my kids? Never. Does that make it wrong in the grand scheme of things? I'm not sure.
post #46 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post

When answering the question how would the same people that responded that it was not a big deal if it were changed slightly to: if you hired a babysitter and you were driving down a busy street and saw them in the back of a trike, in a basket, with no helmets, and the sitter was riding in a dangerous manner. Would you continue to drive....because it really doesn't bother you? Just curious if the answer would change if it was your own children.
Are you kidding? I'd fire my babysitter on the spot and would have a hard time not slapping them silly. I would *NEVER* allow that to happen to my kids but that's the thing, these are not my kids. I'd also never vaccinate my kids but that doesn't mean I call 9-1-1 on those that do. That's a moot point.
post #47 of 158
If you are in the United States, in most states a bicycle is considered a vehicle. It is thus subject to the same rules and regulations as a car or truck (other than the speed limit, obviously). So he could have been ticketed for improper maintenance of the bike (people can and do get ticketed regularly for failure to have lights when riding at night), failure to use proper signals (hand signals if you don't have blinkers), violation of helmet laws, and who knows what else- maybe reckless driving for being in the wrong lane? Check your state's driver's manual for information regarding your state. In most places, the bicycle information is included.

He was obviously driving erratically, with the children in unsafe conditions.

I would have called.

Edited to add: And for the record, some places do NOT have a non-emergency number. Or the number is the number of the local police department, which you may not have available to you in a "borderline" emergency. So 911 is your only option, other than doing nothing.
post #48 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
With what you describe, I may have considered calling - I mean, if he was slowly biking down a quiet residential street, I probably would think "gee that's not safe" and leave it at that. But what you describe would strike me as erratic driving - heck, if I saw a car doing that, I might think "drunk driver"...add in the kids, and that's upsetting.

Thinking more - I probably would have called the non-emergency number.
This. I think it's fine you called in this case-- I should put the non-e # in my phone b/c sometimes that's the better options, but of course we all know 911, and I think in this case someone dealing with it would have been better than ignoring it.
post #49 of 158
Simply put, I have seen impoverish people more skilled at negotiating situations like this because they have to. What can seem erratically to you is maybe experience, struggling with a flat, or some other situation.

All kids are worth protecting, but sometimes when we try to protect kids in poverty we do more harm than good by calling police.

Let say the cops told him not to put the kids on the bike and he has to try to get them across.

What if the cops ticket him? He can't afford it. Doesn't pay it. Bench warrant issued. Later he pulled over and arrested.

Poor people are more likely to have their kids removed from their homes, instead of helped.

Yes, I am more careful when I call the cops to help people that are poor. I would be more likely to gone up to him and offer to purchase his kids helmets.

I have bought food, sleeping bags, paid for laundry, et before calling police or CPS. In this case, I be inclined to see what else him might need.
post #50 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
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.
The fine should be higher and come with a "free" bike helmet. (Though you can get a bike helmet in my town for $10.)
post #51 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisCat View Post
The guy was weaving in and out of traffic and went into the oncoming lane of traffic. The OP said she didn't call because of the type of bike or the lack of helmets but because of the erratic driving.
: yes erratic driving was unsafe. and yes i have also seen erratic drivers who are lost or trying to find an address. so erratic driving over a few blocks is not reason enough for me to call unless it was way beyond erratic.

dunno. i probably would have done the same thing if i saw the dad drive a long distance.

but i lived near a food bank. and i saw the poor struggle so hard to take care of their children. and just coz they were poor didnt make them negligent parents even though it would seem like that on paper.

and as marsupial mom has pointed out, the poor and illeterate get such a rough deal with the authorities.
post #52 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
Seriously?
post #53 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
Who are we really protecting the children from? If you turn someone in and they are deemed unfit, is it always for the best?? Because they were driving with their kids on a bike in a less than safe manner? It's not as if the OP saw the child being physically or verbally harmed. Would *I* do that with my kids? Never. Does that make it wrong in the grand scheme of things? I'm not sure.
I totally agree.

At what income level do we address safety? At the highest levels first! Rich people ought not to be taking privileges and gleaning resources at rates that cause others' children to suffer suffer like this, at unfair disadvantage that impacts their safety! But if I called 911 about that, they would come for me or send a psych consult, soo...

In any case, I think when "emergencies" are so widespread, the best response is to address and send our energy towards healing the root causes.
post #54 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisCat View Post
Seriously?
sorry this was perhaps too harsh for MDC. but sometimes our best intentions can really ruin lives.

but yeah. i volunteer with the poor and illiterate. and i mean illiterate. you have no idea how limiting life is for them. and how despicably they are treated (they have a c section and their tubes are tied, or their uterus taken out - with their signed consent, except that they had no idea what they wrote their name for). and so sometimes they have to take a chance. a chance you and i thankfully dont have to, but they have to.

for many of us a $10 bicycle ticket might be nothing or not so bad. for others it could totally break them.

some of the police are understanding. but not all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermoon View Post
In any case, I think when "emergencies" are so widespread, the best response is to address and send our energy towards healing the root causes.
ITA
post #55 of 158
Thread Starter 
First and foremost- thank you all for the replies.

I called non-emergency because it states something like (when you call, the recording) "If you are in a situation that requires police, ambulatory, or fire service, please call 911". I was unsure and wondered if the operator would have had me call 911 instead.

Each street of the intersection was a 4 lane street (I suppose you could consider one of them six lanes if you include the turning lanes- I've never paid much attention to lanes and such as I don't drive). Imagine three busy streets crossing at once. Imagine cars pulling in and out of various stops along side (as I mentioned, gas station, etc). It can get dangerous and my DH and I have been in a very minor accident there before.

I myself am poor. Do you know what I do? I take the bus. Sure- the bus costs money, but I don't use it for joyriding and only use it when I really need it (in the past for work and school, currently for doctors appointments, etc). If I couldn't afford the bus, I'd ask for a ride from family or a nice neighbor. If that weren't an option, I'd bike or walk. If I took a bike, I'd most certainly put helmets on myself and my children and I'd even more certainly NOT drive like that man did. Being impoverished has nothing to do with going into oncoming traffic knowingly with your kids (or someones kids) on the back of your bike.

All in all, I think I did the right thing.

Oh- and I don't think the police saw the man when he was filling the tires with air. You couldn't see them from the police car's point of view- they were behind the air pump thing.
post #56 of 158
I am not the kind of person that calls 911 or even the non-emergency numbers -- not when children aren't restrained in cars, aren't wearing helmets, or many of the other kinds of violations that more conservative folks call about. In this case, I would definitely have called. Just because he was on a bicycle doesn't make it a live and let live situation. He was operating a vehicle (in most places, bicycles are expected to follow basic traffic laws) in an erratic and unsafe manner, endangering the lives of the children, himself, and anyone driving near him. It doesn't matter WHY the bicycle was moving erratically, it was unsafe and definitely warranted a call. If he were driving a motorcycle or a car, or even just walking back and forth across the intersection, I guarantee someone would have called, if they were being conscientious.
post #57 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
I wouldn't have called. I'm w/ your DH - its not your job to make sure everyone is being 'safe' all the time, and its just not your job.
agreed
Posted via Mobile Device
post #58 of 158
I would have called. He could have killed his kids or someone else's kids.
post #59 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
sorry this was perhaps too harsh for MDC. but sometimes our best intentions can really ruin lives.
I think in a case like the OPs, the point to calling the cops would be to keep the guy from ruining lives. What if a car he swerved in front of couldn't stop in time and someone in the car got hurt or the girls got seriously injured or killed? Or what if a car in an oncoming lane he swerved into swerved to avoid him and hit another car? I understand that calling the authorities can sometimes have unintended negative consequences and don't think people should make the decision lightly, but in the case of a public safety threat (which I would consider someone weaving in and out of traffic making people slam on their brakes and swerving into the oncoming lane of traffic), I'd be willing to take that chance. I can see suggesting not calling CPS on parents that don't measure up to our standards, but this is an entirely different case, and I don't think anyone needs to be tolerant about dangerous behavior on the roads regardless of anyone's socioeconomic status.

And as to this guy's socioeconomic status, well we just don't know, and there really is no way of knowing. To be honest, the first thing that popped into my mind wasn't poverty stricken illiterate immigrant as some here have suggested but rather environmentalist hippie alternative living dude that watched No Impact Man one too many times (who was not poor by any stretch). But that's stereotyping too just like assuming he was poor. I'll work on that.
post #60 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
I wouldn't have called. I'm w/ your DH - its not your job to make sure everyone is being 'safe' all the time, and its just not your job.
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