Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Alright then, I believe I have come up with a new topic. It took me awhile to decide, but after extensive consultation with my astrologer, I have decided to write about the following subject.
The Ohio General ASSembly has just passed a new law requiring booster seats in vehicles for children under 4 feet 9 inches tall. This is to make up for the deficiencies inherent in the current design of automobile lap and shoulder belts for people of small stature. It's about time! It's hard to believe any Ohioan has survived into adulthood without there being such a law in the past. How different our history would have been if the intrepid pioneers of America's past had had booster seats in their covered wagons and Model T's.
Now, with this long-awaited law, if you are stopped for some reason by an officer of the law and your child is booster seatless, you can be fined from $25 to $75. The added expense and inconvenience of the new mandate for parents and people who occasionally drive kids is offset by the potential gains to be made by those who buy stock in booster seat-producing companies. I'm sure that now in China there is great jubilation among lead miners who will be mining the material which the factories will be using to make the new booster seats.
But is a simple booster seat sufficient humiliation -- er, protection-- for grammar school kids? Can't our wonderful, benevolent, all-wise and underpaid legislators mandate more rigorous measures to ensure our children's well-being and happiness as we drive them to and fro upon Ohio's non-pockmarked roads and highways? I think so. I hope so. I foresee a time when Officer Friendly, in pulling over an Ohio citizen for having a slightly dimmed license plate light or for going 40 in a 35 mph zone, will be able to cite the driver for more than just the lack of a booster seat. I hope to see a time when the irresponsible parent can be penalized for not dressing the child in flame retardant underwear and socks, for failing to equip the child with a Chinese-made crash helmet, for not providing each child under 4 foot 9 with a SafeCitizen Sippy Cup, for the youngster not wearing a hard rubber mouth guard to protect his or her vulnerable teeth, for not encasing the kids in bubble wrap and filling the back seat with styrofoam peanuts to help cushion the jarring of the inevitable traffic mishap. Such a time, unfortunately has not yet arrived in Ohio, but with more hard work by citizen activists and lazy politicians, that time will come.