The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reminding drivers that safety, not fun, must be the rule inside vehicles when small children are traveling.
A Wednesday news release from the RCMP reminds drivers that they can be ticketed and charged if children are not properly secured in a car seat, CBC News reports.
Police Sgt. Darrin Turnbull said in the release that the reminder was prompted by a traffic stop he initiated Tuesday in Airdrie, Alberta, in which he found a preschool-aged child riding in a cardboard box on the back seat of the car.
Turnbull originally pulled the driver over for speeding and was questioning the driver on the side of the road when he saw the box on the back seat move, according to the press release. His first thought was reportedly that the box contained puppies.
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“I asked what was in the box and I was shocked when I saw a child's hand pop out and wave,” Turnbull said, according to CTV News.
“The driver told me the child had refused to stay in the child seat and wanted to play in the box,” he added.
Turnbull stressed that it is always the adult’s responsibility to look out for the safety of a child passenger.
“It was shocking to see a situation like that where a young child, there was a child seat back there for him to be in, the driver advised that the child did not want to ride in the child seat, he wanted to ride in the box and he was allowed to do that,” he said. “I know it is sometimes easier to just give in, but when it comes to safety of a child, the adults and not the kids must be in charge.”
The driver was given a $167 speeding ticket and charged with failing to properly secure a child in a motor vehicle — a charge for which the driver must appear in court, according to The Chronicle Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Police did not identify the driver, citing privacy concerns for the child.
Photo Credit: Police photo via CBC News