Flickr Photo by bettyx1138The 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.