Children should wear seatbelts, even in taxis

The little boy involved was sitting on his mother's lap while they rode in the back seat of a taxi...

I haven’t been a grandpa for long, but little children are suddenly interesting for me again. They seem to catch my attention more easily and this was the case a few days ago while I was driving in Nanaimo. The little boy involved was sitting on his mother’s lap while they rode in the back seat of a taxi.

I couldn’t see below his shoulders but he was either unrestrained or worse still, belted into the lap belt with his mother. She was belted in, evidenced by the shoulder belt across her torso.

Why wasn’t he in a seatbelt or child restraint? Even though he is exempted from having to use child restraint or a seatbelt while riding in a taxi it would still be smart to do so.

I contacted the taxi services and asked if they had a child restraint that I could use if I brought a small child along on a taxi ride. No, we don’t provide these was the response, but you are welcome to bring your own.

I suspect that the company is concerned, and rightly so, about legal liability if they provided the restraint and something happened because of it.

However, I do feel strongly that the parent or caregiver should be prepared to provide their own restraint. If not, then the child should at least be secured with a lap belt. Never, ever, under any circumstances put a child in the seatbelt with you!

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

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