No Car Seat? No Problem!?


nyc taxi
Flickr Photo by bettyx1138
The last three times I went to the pediatrician for my twins' well visits, I saw a mom leave the office with her baby and hop into the backseat of a taxi with her child on her lap -- no car seat in sight.

This is NYC and I've taken taxis and car services zillions of times and I can tell you this -- almost all of them drive like maniacs. (I'm sorry to generalize, but they do!) When I was pregnant, I actually refused to get into a taxi unless I absolutely had to -- my cargo was too precious to trust a driver I didn't know. Plus morning all-day sickness, back seat, stop and go, stopandgoSTOP -- not good.

Yes, it's NYC and it's tough to get around with kids and lugging a car seat around sure isn't easy. I get it, believe me. I have twins. I can't even fit my double stroller in the doorway of my local Dunkin' Donuts.

But no car seat?

Why are these moms making these terrible choices? Well, because they can.

You're probably thinking what I'm thinking: It's not just unsafe, It's the law for kids under 4 to be in a safety seat.

But get this -- taxis and private car services are exempt from the car seat law in NYC. "Children under 7 are permitted to sit on an adult's lap."

I am horrified, NYC! My birthplace, my home -- you are letting me down in a BIG way. You are trying to pass soda taxes to keep us healthy, you are working to eliminate salt from our menus, you already passed the no smoking in bars and restaurant rule years ago, but you allow babies to ride in cars without car seats?

And worse, why would a mom go along with the exemption? Why not just take the subway? Or (gasp!) the bus?

Maybe this post should serve as a petition -- a wake up call -- to NYC and the taxi and limousine service telling them to supply car seats for those who can't lug them around or afford them. Or have marked taxis that have car seats ready to go in their trunks for parents who need them. Maybe one of the big car seat makers would generously donate some car seats to get this car seat safety initiative started? (Are you reading, car seat makers? Great publicity!)

Sounds good in theory, right? The problem is that even if there were some cabs, amongst the hundreds, that have car seats they will be hard to find. It's difficult for the handicapped to find taxis to accommodate them. But it would be a start.

Wake up, New York -- let's change this law!

Help me get the word out and leave a comment about your thoughts on the exemption of the car seat law for taxis.

car seat safety


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Faith

I like your idea about simply taking the bus or subway. All the same...Don't hate me for telling the truth about this, but letting babies sit in a parent's lap during a taxi ride is most likely legal because the infant-in-taxi mortality rate is probably nil. zilch. nada. Of course, let one baby die in a taxi ride, and that might all change today. But until that happens, taxi drivers have a very good argument for not letting public sentiment impact their business, when the facts don't show a need for change. More children probably die in accidents at home, than die during a taxi ride. JMO.

APeve... APeveteaux

I've also known people who use taxis with babies and no car seat. I could never do it, sucks getting around NYC with a baby. Bringing a car seat and a stroller is just so not realistic. It means that I always pre-pre-pre-plan when I leave the house with my baby. But even the best laid plans can be derailed by a major baby meltdown when you're in midtown Manhattan and need to get back to Brooklyn asap without having 40 angry subway passengers glaring at you and calling you a bad mother.
However, better that than risking your babies life.

Joelle99 Joelle99

Hey, it's Lindsay! I totally agree and have only taken a taxi 1 time since miss Juliette was born. We took it to the airport and I kept her strapped into the Ergo on me with a seat belt around us. I was terrified the whole ride. Happily it was 4am and nobody was on the road. I feel for you with 2 car seats my love...

see you on the subway!

ethan... ethans_momma06

I can't even imagine doing that....

I think it would be a great idea to get some special cabs with carseats, that would def. help curb the problem, at least a little bit IMO. But it boils down to PARENTAL responsibility, not that of the taxi cabs or states. Take a transportation that accomodates your situation. It may be a huge pain in the tush to do it, but you're a parent and your FIRST responsibility should be your childs safety.

nonmember avatar Dana

I have no idea why they would have this as a law...last time I was down there I also saw a mom and a newborn jump in the back of a cab sans car seat and I was mortified! I would never have baby or toddler in the car with me without being in their seat so I would certainly never entrust their safety to a cab driver!

sodapple sodapple

i agree with you mama! just this weekend we took a taxi in the morning to go to church, my moms tradition of spoiling her grandaughter lol, anyways not only did we get almost hit by a bus, then the driver wanted to get back at the bus and almost made an accident with another taxi and i, pregnant almost ready to deliver any minute, was on the side that both accidents almost happened!!! the fisrt time we used a taxi with my daugther i have to agree my mom and i did not use the car seat but mom did buckle herself with the baby and the driver was nice. it will be nice if they start carrying a carseat or two on their trunks at least for the little ones.

once we got off that taxi i reportd him to 311, i couldn't afford to deliver on the back of that maniacs cab!

RanaA... RanaAurora

That's AWFUL. I understand buses not using seatbelts and carseats, but normal CARS? A taxi may be for special PURPOSES but it's not going to fair ANY differently in an accident! That's awful! The couple times I've taken a cab with Rowan, you better believe I told them to show up a little early because I needed to install a carseat!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Faith, with how frequent car accidents are, I bet you there are PLENTY of infant deaths from this.

nonmember avatar Kayla

Why don't they just equip taxis with those built-in car-seats like some newer SUVs have? I mean, that way, when there's no baby in the car, it's a normal seat. Then when someone with an infant gets in, they can fold down the little seat. Just an idea.

nonmember avatar Baby Car Seats

Surprised to note this. In fact, very true that if the law says its mandatory, there should be some provision to use car seats in the taxis as well. After all, baby safety is more important than anything else. Thoughtful post.

1-10 of 17 comments 12 Last