Crime Watch

Crime Watch: Readers react to column on seatbelts, child-safety seats

Sydney Fischer / MCT

Special to The Miami Herald

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of having your children properly restrained by either a car seat or a seatbelt, and about how children under 12 years old should sit in the back seat. I want to share with you this week some of the comments I received from readers on the subject:

Dear Carmen:

You hit the nail on the head with your column. My window overlooks a parking lot for the condo next to mine, and at least 50 percent of the kids are not locked into seatbelts or car seats. The small children are even allowed to sit in the front seat. I don’t know if you have watched the private school buses and the kids hanging out the windows, sometimes four kids packed together to look out the open window.

I have even seen the kids standing next to the driver. I hate to see if there is an accident with kids thrown out the window. And what is worse, I see police cruisers pass the buses and do nothing.

This does not seem to happen with the legal Miami-Dade school buses. OK, I am now off my soapbox.

Walter Ward, Hialeah

Dear Ms Caldwell:

Recently School Board member Carlos Curbelo recommended that the school board look into contracting with private buses to transport children. Apparently Mr. Curbelo doesn’t see what happens after school with these private buses. He should visit schools, or I guess he doesn’t notice these private buses on the road. If he did he would see kids hanging out of windows, kids running around in the bus and kids fighting on the bus. Worst of all, they constantly violate the speed limit. These private buses obviously they have no concern for the safety of the students.

I sure hope that the rest of the school board members have more common sense than Mr. Curbelo, because I can predict major problems if they allow his recommendation to pass.

I also hope that Superintendent Alberto Carvalho takes a stand on this issue.

Elena Hernandez, Hialeah

Dear Ms. Caldwell:

Thank you for the information regarding car seats and kids being belted in the car. I get so frustrated when I pick my kids up at school and see kids jumping in the front seat of their parents’ cars without strapping themselves in. But when you look at the parent, they are not using their seatbelt either.

I wish either schools police would be out in the parking lot either giving warnings or giving tickets to these irresponsible parents. It only takes a second for some crazy driver to hit you and kill your child, especially if that child is sitting in the front seat.

Again thank you for a great column, and I hope that these parents start using seatbelts.

Maria in Kendall

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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