I'm a little disappointed in myself this morning. I was heading north on highway 41 on the northside of Appleton last night on my way to the Freedom-Seymour boys basketball game and doing my usual 72-miles an hour when a gray car raced up behind me and wanted to pass. I moved over and the car zoomed by me. That's when I noticed in the back seat a little kid jumping around and running back and forth. He could not have been more than three-years old as he was clearly standing up and his head barely came above the rear deck lid--meaning he should have been buckled into a child safety seat or booster seat.
It says something about the effectiveness of the state's child restraint law when seeing something like this catches your attention. At that point, I had a passing thought that I should call the cops and have that driver pulled over--but I didn't.
A few minutes later, the gray car got caught behind slower traffic and I pulled up alongside of it. That's when I saw the woman behind the wheel was on the cellphone--and had a cigarette in the other hand. So not only has this mother put her child at risk by not buckling him into a safety seat, she is also speeding, tailgaiting and barely paying attention to the road by yakking on the cell phone. And then to top it off, she is threatening his health by puffing away on the cancer stick in that closed environment.
That's when I decided "you know what, I am calling the cops to teach that woman a lesson. "Maybe the couple hundred dollars in fines she would get would teach her a lesson on responsibility and how to value the life of her little one."
That's when I realized my cell phone was in my attache bag...in the rear storage area of the station s-u-v. So now I'm wrestling with myself--should I pull over and get out the phone to call the cops on this "mother" or do I just sit by and do nothing--like so many others do nowadays. Unfortunately, the latter won out--as I just couldn't justify stopping on a packed interstate just to report a driver that officers may not have been able to track down anyway.
I was relieved to find there were no accidents involving unbuckled children in the Fox Vally last night. That means the little guy made it home okay, despite his mom's best--or in this case worst efforts. She probably nuked him some chicken nuggets or something just as nuitritionally empty and let him drink soda and stay up too late watching TV programs that are totally inappropriate for his age--all the while she talked on the phone engaged in engrossing conversations about who should be eliminated on American Idol and what J-Lo should name her new twins.
I'm just disappointed in myself for not taking the steps to make a difference in that little boy's life.