• A woman was filmed driving her car with a baby seat on the roof.
• The 'mother' and those pursuing her are known for their pranks that are published on social media.
• Experts raise concerns that such videos are dangerous to all road users.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
An alarming video has surfaced on the internet of a woman driving her car whilst her baby's car seat is on the roof.
The video, posted on the Facebook page Jibrizy, starts with a woman filming the incident and trying to wave the woman in question down. "Hey, hey! You have a baby on your car," she shouts as she tries to get the woman's attention. This prompts the viewer to believe, at first glance, that there is indeed a baby in the seat.
The three-minute video shows how several road users, whether on foot or in an automobile, try to alert the woman of her baby. Still, she ignores everyone and continues driving while on her cellphone.
The pursuing duo eventually gets her attention, and they inform her about the baby. When she exits the car, she nonchalantly 'thanks' them for their effort and wishes them a good day - sarcastically.
This 'joke' is not a joke
After watching the video, eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed that several aspects of the video are amiss. For one, how on earth did the baby seat stay intact for so long? And what mother would place her kid on the car's roof or drive off without instinctively making sure that said child is securely fastened, in their car seat, inside the car?
The 'mother' and the chasing duo are renowned for elaborate hoaxes and duping people. This time, though, the American trio went a bit far as they execute their plan. It's not uncommon for 'public figures' to go to extreme lengths in a bid to create a video that'll garner millions of views, but logic failed to prevail in this case.
Whether the three 'actors' want to admit it or not, they could have caused an accident, or worse.
Elizabeth Mamacos, Parent24 editor, adds: "This is irresponsible! People should not go to such lengths to get attention, and for onlookers who don't know it's a 'joke' it can be very traumatic - not to mention how dangerous to others, as many people would risk their own lives to save the 'baby'. These jokers are risking the lives of others. No one should ever use a baby, even a fake one, for a hoax or to get a laugh."
Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck shares his expert view on the video but warns that such actions could have dire consequences.
He says: "We do not have more info on the incident, and unfortunately it is true that thoughtless and 'idiotic' behaviour does occur on our roads. The safest place for a baby is in a rear-facing car seat inside the vehicle. And if there is indeed a baby on top of this car, it is extremely dangerous as there will be zero protection in a rollover.
"Even if there is no baby in the car seat, this could be extremely dangerous to other road users getting distracted. This poses a risk to other road users doing their best to attract the attention of the driver; hence not focusing on their own driving behaviour, other road users, and pedestrians!"
Arrive Alive published several tips on the correct use of baby seats. The road safety body lists the following:
Seatbelts and child restraints are secondary safety devices and are primarily designed to prevent or minimize injury to a vehicle occupant when a crash has occurred. Seatbelts and child restraints thus:
- reduce the risk of contact with the interior of the vehicle or reduce the severity of injuries if this occurs;
- distribute the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of the human body;
- prevent the occupant from being ejected from the vehicle in an impact;
- prevent injury to other occupants (for example in a frontal crash, unbelted rear-seated passengers can be catapulted forward and hit other occupants).