I recall when Delaware changed their law in 2003, if memory serves me correctly. Parents were complaining that it was unfair, that the government was interfering, that it was beginning to border on socialism, yet these same parents are the ones who let their children sit in the front seat or the back seat unbuckled and run wild in the car while it was in motion! Even now in 2005, child safety doesn't seem to be a priority for some parents. I recall a recurring incident last year regarding the issue of child passenger safety. There was a little girl in my granddaughter's Brownie troop who was I'm guessing about her age at the time (five or six). Her mother would place her in the front seat of the car at the end of the meeting. I do not recall but one or two times seeing this child buckle up before the car moved. Add that to the fact that Delaware has a law that states any child under the age of 12 is to be in the back seat. These same parents who wonder why the government has to make laws telling them what to do!
What is the answer to the growing issue of child passenger safety? If the children can't depend on their parents, then where else can they turn? I fail to see the logic in some of the cries of "my rights" that are being voices because having children is a privilege, but once you have chosen to have them, keeping them safe is an obligation, and you do not have a RIGHT to not provide for their safety.
What else can be done? Since some parents are still choosing not to follow the law, the states need to make one more change to the child passenger safety law: make it a primary offense if you fail to restrain your child. What this means, for those who may be unfamiliar with this part of the motor vehicle law, is that a police officer can stop you for that offense alone. Under the current law in most of the states, it is a secondary offense, which means a person must be stopped for another offense before they can be given a ticket for failing to have their child properly restrained. This would work if parents had more concern for their children, but it seems many are in such a hurry to get where they are going that they don't want to take the time to be sure that their child is buckled up. The other situation is children who unbuckle themselves while the car is in motion, and nothing is done about it. WOW! I can't remember the times when my children were growing up that I pulled over to the side of the road to discipline a child for removing a safety restraint, and this was BEFORE it was required by law. With a husband who was - and still is - a firefighter, it just came naturally.