Today I saw a mother driving an old Toyota Camry (4-dr) with two kids under 10 in the back. At the stop light, she pulled up next to me, and slightly ahead. I noticed a lot of movement in the backseat out of the corner of my eye. When I looked, the little boy in the back was playing with his sister's toys and wanted to hand something to the mom.
And what did I see? Not a stretch toward his mom with the toy held out for her, the way a child retrained by a seatbelt would do. No, no. He just stood up and leaned over her seat to give it to her. Because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
I looked up toward her, expecting her to whip around and bark at him to sit back down and fasten his seatbelt. Instead, she took the toy and discussed something with him before turning back around and stepping on the gas when the light changed. And he was still perched on the edge of the seat, now turned toward his sister, engaged in the toys they had.
It was then I realized the mother wasn't wearing her seatbelt either! I had to blink a couple of times to make sure I wasn't seeing things! I was so appalled that I considered honking and yelling at her. But off she went and ended up merging in front of me when her lane cut off.
She pulled into a complex about 3 blocks from mine. If I see her again, I'll be tempted to say something. At first, I thought to myself, "Well, I can see she's the type who would verbally retaliate, so why bother?" But then, I thought, "No, she is not caring for her children. In fact, she is ENDANGERING their lives and if someone was doing that with MY kids, I would hope that someone would MAKE it their business to brave the impending conflict for the sake of those children."
I even thought about what kind of memory it would create for that little boy, if some crazed, red-headed pregnant woman reemed out his mom right in front of him and his sister for being such a reckless driver/mother. He would either develop some sort of complex, thinking his mom doesn't love him or doesn't care about his safety, OR he would grow up to be the kind of guy who would step in for others, too.
Dang. I should have said something.