Backseat Reminders

How did we function before “smart” technology smoothed over all of the rough edges of living? If you spend 5-10 minutes watching the opening segment of your local newscast, you are excused for believing that humans were once more intelligent than we are now, even possessing a modicum of common sense.

Apparently our cluttered lives have become so disorienting that we need the government (and car companies) to rescue us, and prevent us from leaving our kids in the backseat while we’re at work. Seriously, I guess dads everywhere are forgetting to leave junior off at the daycare, forcing him to fend for himself in the overheated car, while dad’s earning his daily bread working for Whitey the Man. Poor dad (and mom).

According to Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 29 children have died in hot cars this year.

“These deaths are happening year round. Even in mild temperatures, children unknowingly left in cars can quickly be in danger of death or serious injury,” said Gillan.

Who straps little Timmy or Suzy in the backseat and forgets about them? Apparently there are morons out there who can’t remember that their son or daughter is in the backseat and need chimes to make sure they don’t get sidetracked by all the other stuff clamoring for their attention—like updating their Facebook page before racing in the door to the office with seconds to spare.

Technology to the rescue!!

To prevent other children from dying in hot cars, three lawmakers have banded together to introduce a bill requiring car manufacturers to integrate more (not less) technology into new vehicles. This latest and greatest innovation would be capable of warning adults that there’s a child in the backset (just in case you forget). U.S. Representatives Time Ryan (OH), Peter King (NY), and Jan Schakowsky (IL) have introduced the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act (HOT CARS Act of 2016).

Don't forget to check the backseat.

Don’t forget to check the backseat.

This latest government imposition will now require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring all new passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert system. By alert, they mean some type of auditory and/or visual signal “that will provide an effective warning to the driver of a passenger motor vehicle that a child or unattended passenger remains in a rear seating position after the motor is deactivated.” Not sure what happens if the unattended person is left in the front seat.

Back in the mid-1980s, I was driving an old beat-to-shit Chevrolet Impala, vintage 1968. My driver side door didn’t open and I couldn’t crank down the window, either. I’d take our son, Mark, with me to one of the Purdue satellite campuses in nearby Michigan City, Indiana. I’d have to crawl out the passenger side, unstrap Mark from his child seat, and walk him over to the campus daycare where he’d play with his buddies ‘til I was done my philosophy course, and then, we’d load up the clunker and return home to Chesterton. Nor were chimes required to remind me to take him with me into the duplex that served as our Indiana home.

Hillary Clinton might be onto something with her “basket of deplorables” comment, except the deplorables aren’t limited to those planning on voting for Donald Trump. We have a nation filled with people who have become pretty damn useless and technology won’t save them from themselves.

2 thoughts on “Backseat Reminders

  1. This is a very sad post. It’s sad for the following reasons:

    1. That a parent could forget they had their child in their back seat…
    2. That the government would create more useless and ineffectual legislation…
    3. That the government would name such legislation with an idiotic acronym which is far too cute for its own good…

    And finally, it’s sad that you can’t find a good Chevy Impala like that bomb you had in Indiana anymore.

  2. You know how long it takes to buckle / unbuckle a child from those seats, with the bell dinging the whole time on the new sensor?

    Other than England, the entire—ENTIRE–rest of the world thinks we’re batty with fear due to our obsession with child seats. The entire rest of the world does without them for the most part, and there is no appreciable difference in automobile accident child mortality.

    Fear is the mind killer.

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