There was a time when sitting on your parents’ lap in the front seat wasn’t deemed uncommon, but now there’s a fierce debate raging online after a father was filmed driving down the Pacific Motorway in Queensland on Sunday afternoon with his baby on his lap. In a video, which has since been shared online by 7News, a young child can be seen sitting on the parent’s lap.
Passenger ‘Cozza’ Hambly who shot the frightening video told the publication in the same video shared online: “I thought that it was so unsafe, I couldn’t even believe it myself. I really didn’t want him to get away with it.”
Meanwhile, Kidsafe Queensland chief executive Susan Teerds said the incident is “definitely child abuse”, adding: “I think there should be serious repercussions for this. Even if he were hit side-on, and that airbag goes off, the child would die.”
In Queensland, the driver will be penalised if they carry passengers below 16 years of age who are not wearing seat belts or approved child restraints. The penalty is three demerit points and a $400 fine.
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) August 19, 2019
The footage immediately sparked outrage among viewers, with one writing: “How stupid are people.” Meanwhile, another furious commentator added: “The question is why?”
However, other viewers said they did the same thing as a kid, with one commenting: “That’s how I learned to drive.” While another added: “Man charged with doing same thing everyone’s dad did.”
Meanwhile, it comes after a P-plater was filmed by a passenger in another car as she laughed and chatted on the phone, while steering with just one hand. The video, shared online, is now being investigated by Newcastle City Police District after it was reported recently, they confirmed in a statement. It shows the brunette woman laughing as she spots the other car pass, before carrying on chatting despite clearly being filmed by her fellow motorist.
As the car filming her beeps their horn, she looks up before proudly waving her phone in the air. Clearly shocked, someone in the background says: “Can she not see the cops behind her?” As the driver quickly drops the phone on to her lap, they shout at her: “Cops behind you, they are going to get you.”
Police say the incident is believed to have happened at around 2.50pm on Wednesday on University Drive, in the Newcastle suburb of Callaghan. She was driving a red Holden Commodore, and cops have asked for anyone with any information to come forward.
The footage was uploaded to the ‘Bad drivers caught on dashcam’ Facebook group, and it immediately sparked outrage from other users. One wrote: “Video was brought into the Waratah Police station …. they have identified the car… silly girl is getting her just deserts!!”
Another added: “Stupid, thinking she’s all that! Not cool at all!” And one user, appearing to claim they were the driver of the car that filmed the incident, wrote: “I might add the thing that drew my attention to this stupid girl was her erratic driving before I even knew she was on her phone, and before I knew she was a red P plater. I saw her swerving in and out of lanes (2 lanes) . She was like a rally car driver.. or so she thought.”