Child under my vehicle

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:38
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Recently i found a child under the rear of my vehicle when I was at the video store....more a bout this in a minute.

When I grew up on the land we were never in a hurry...my grandfather's would always start the truck or tractor and then roll a smoke before setting off. They were very calm men and had little time contraints. (One only died 2 years ago aged 94.We always looked behind and under the vehicle beacuse our old dog was nearly deaf.

i am lucky to have set up my life so I am rarely in a rush. When I feel that I am under pressure now I slow down and smell the roses. This has not always been the case and in my 20's I was always speending, getting nowhere fast.

back to the child.

The other day at the video store at Stanmore here in Sydney I came out with a DVD in hand and as usual check behind my truck for shopping trolleys , kids and other stuff. Behold a 3 year old girl who had been gathering flowers and dropped one and it blew under the back of my truck.

I was speechless,I did not know what to say or do. The little girl smiled and handed me a flower just as her mum turned up. The mum had been in a hurry and had walked on ahead with the older boy across the car park.

I did not say a word to the girl or her mum , nor they to me .........

Heres the worst bit....the mum got in a new black 4x4 ...and drove off...in a hurry

I still don't know what I should have said.

This is 100% fair dinkum and only only posted this after reading the other thread on rear cameras...I would not have seen her with any camera or in any mirror and my car type would have made no difference either.(by the way I am hoping to get one soon)

I am glad I took the time to look.....a few years back I would not have.

Skinny
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Reply By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:53
What a sobering experience. Thank God you looked. Even htough I have the reversing sensors, they would not have picked up a child UNDER the vehicle. I must get into habit of taking more notice.
AnswerID: 118036

Reply By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:58

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:58
I see the bumper stickers that say "Magic Happens".

I'm no witch or worlock and my Mrs. does not have a couldren but ... Magic does happen indeed.

You are a good bloke and maybe because of that, someone 'up there' looks after you.

Stuff like this happens, and because of it ... I don't jump off the balcony.

Thanks for sharing it with me.

James aka iMusty.

AnswerID: 118038

Reply By: Member - Matt Mu (Perth-WA) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:04

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:04
Skinny, I dont believe that anything happens by chance! Live with the thought that it was meant to be your car that little girl looked under and not a run-off-her feet, busy, deadline mum who wouldnt have thought to look.

Who knows maybe she will grow up and cure cancer or find a cure for Harold Scuby??

Matt
AnswerID: 118050

Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:11

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:11
Yep! What goes around comes around. Well done Skinny!
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Reply By: Skinny- Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:29

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:29
Thanks guys for the support, refreshing in modern times. I guess there are a few reasons I posted it...but I still wonder why I was lost for words. Those who know me know that that is a rare thing.Still don't know if I should have handled it differently.

Skinny
AnswerID: 118056

Reply By: vitara - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:32

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 13:32
Hi there Skinny, mate you are so lucky you took the time to look not to mention the little girl,that's what annoys me so much when people carry on about 4wds in shopping centers, why wasn't the mother holding the little girls hand until she was in there vehicle.The same thing happened to me only it was in my own driveway,I was about to reverse out of my carport which is directly next to my garage,I walked through the gates from under my pergola which are in front of my hilux and jumped in when I thought I should put the rubbish out so I dont have to do it when I get home in the dark,I jumped back out my hilux back through the gates grabbed the bin from out the back and because the hilux was still parked in the carport with virtually no room to get the bin through I took it through the garage instead (both garage and carport back on to my pergola) opened the electric door and took the bin down to the front gutter on turning around to walk back up to the hilux here is my neighbours little girl 2 an a half 3 years old sitting under the rear step bar of my hilux out of the sun playing with her dress up doll.I went straight over to my neighbours without saying any thing to the girl and asked her mother to come outside for a minute i took her and showed her where her daughter was.You know what she said, oh isn't she cute, can you believe that. I then let her have it and her reply was you should always check before you reverse out. I saw red and asked her why was a little girl that age outside by herself anyway Oh she can let her self out. I was quite upset that night when I told my wife as I don't know how I would have dealt with it if I had ran over her it would have been a case of ANOTHER 4WD IN SURBURBIA RUNS OVER CHILD. Now I always go through the garage to get in my hilux. I'd rather be sure than have to deal with that. And by the way my wife's vx commodore is harder to see out of than my hilux. Take Care Vitara
AnswerID: 118057

Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 17:34

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 17:34
Parents are never wrong when it come to their own child.

I am still learning in life how to 'let stuff go'.

I feel for you in your position mate.

I don't wanna always say "fnck em" or drink to deal with peoples crapola attutides.

I get SO angry.

Pat yourself on the back, no-one else will.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:00

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:00
Bloody scarey guys.
I have always tried to ensure that I look around my vehicles before getting in, mostly to check that a tyre has not gone down during the night, but I guess reading these posts its a good habit for other reasons.

Thankfully in both of the above posts it worked out OK, but as pointed out in each situation more diligence on behalf of the parents would have gone a long way to preventing the situation in the first place.

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Reply By: Member - Geoff M (Newcastle) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:15

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:15
Hello Skinny,
So glad you looked, very sobering indeed.

I work on quite a few different mine sites in the Hunter Valley of NSW.
They have a vehicle parking policy that states, "All vehicles must be parked such that they are driven out of the parking area's in a forward direction" or words to that effect.
That means, when you arrive at a parking space in any vehicle size or type on the mine and reverse may be needed, you reverse into the parking space and come out forward. Theory is you've had a darn good look around the area upon arrival and know it's safe to reverse into the space. When you leave, it's easier to scan forward than backwards.
Never thought much about it really, but I've been doing that a lot outside the mines too. Now I know it's useful.

Thanks for that,
Geoff.
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Follow Up By: Skinny- Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:58

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:58
Thanks Geoff, I have never heard of that policy but seems a real good idea. I think I will try to do that in future, it makes sense. Every little bit helps. In this case if I was in backwards i probably would not have seen her she would of got a fright though and a face full of deisel but probably no injury if I was going forwards.

I will continue to look and reverse in when parking.

Thanks

Skinny
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff M (Newcastle) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:06

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:06
Skinny,
That's pretty much what I was thinking, a darn good fright, face full of diesel fumes and maybe a bump on the head from jumping up is not fatal.
In a real weird kind of way, a darn good fright is often good for kids and parents.
I know my daughters thought they were invincible in the surf until the oldest needed rescuing one day. Now they both actually watch the waves, odd idea, that's what some old fool called "Dad" told them would work.

Geoff.
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Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:51

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 14:51
Skinny well done and good on you, also, well done for not standing there and berating the mum. I suppose, as a mother of two, active and bloody fast kids I can sympathise with her. My son has a habit of getting away from me, and nothing makes your heart sink faster as when it does for that moment when you don't know where they are. For those who read this and think "what was the mother doing? etc," - busy with the other child most probably, she didn't have to be in a hurry, she just was busy, and unfortunately when you're pulled in two directions it's bloody hard to be omnipresent; however, that does not excuse the fact that the child was under the car. I bet, when she left, in a hurry as you say, she was having a few words with her children, as that seems to be the way - do I sound like I'm talking from experience? - damn right I am, and that doesn't excuse me either!

Luckily for this child, and this family, Skinny had the foresight to look around his car before he pulled away, perhaps above all that's been written and comented on, the thing that we should all take away from this, is that we should all be more aware of what is going on around us, hopefully that busy mum may also stop for a minute and realise just how lucky her family is .

Well done Skinny, here's hoping that busy mum slows down a tad, I know this busy mum has realised that.

cheers

Lyn
AnswerID: 118067

Reply By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:04

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:04
Gday mate,

Good to post things like this...it's easy to get into a habit of jumping in the truck, rushing around etc. I cannot imagine the guilt you would feel if you ran over a child. Good post mate.

Cheers

Chris.
AnswerID: 118069

Reply By: JamieMac - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:07

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 15:07
Your post certainly provokes soome thought Skinny. As some of the other posts have said I think it is best to drive forward wherever it is possible but by no means foolproof.

I have been reversing into carparks for many years for this very reason. Most people do not understand until I explain the rationale to them and it instantly makes sense. This should be somehthing that is discussed in driver training and testing.

The fresher your view of the area you are reversing into the more comfortable you feel that it has no kids or poles or other traps. When I get into my car it takes some time (even if not a lot) before I start heading backwards. If I have to reverse I always have a lump in my throat and I will do anything not to reverse where I know there could be kids around. Driving forward over the kerb raises eyebrows but if its my safest option I will take it.

Mind you a recent incident in the media involved a car starting forward from a stop in a school.

I dont agree with shifting all of the blame via the kid to their parent/gaurdian. The driver is ultimately responsible for where the car goes. Kids are definately not the blame at that age and people are unreliable supervisors despite their best (or otherwise) efforts. Nothing is foolproof and sometimes all of the holes align and a tragic incident happens. You can only do your best and double check.

JamieMac
AnswerID: 118071

Follow Up By: vitara - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 16:08

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 16:08
Hi Jamie mac, I'm the same always reverse in where i can unfortunately I cant at home as Imy air con on the wall restricts me from getting out the door pain ithe ar@e but as said ultimately the driver needs to check.Kids at a young age dont have or very littli sense on danger that's our job to hopefully protect them but saying that My 2kids 1 at 5 & 1 at 3 years of age the older hangs on to the trolley the younger one onto my hand, I know kids can be like hudini's (hope spelt wright) there one minute gongn the next, but not in a major carpark.I see woman and blokes often put grocerys in the car first while the kids are just standing there why not do it the other way round kids first makes sense. I'm far from a perfect parent but my kids safety always come's first as I would imagine all parents think the same way. Take care Vitara
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Reply By: Nudenut - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:02

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:02
lucky you...or should i say ...we should all be so alert...
and the mother deserved an earfull for not keeping her little girl's well being safe....it may not have been a vehicle that could have put her in danger...rather, something more sinister it could have been....in this case it was neither thank god
AnswerID: 118086

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:08

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:08
sure will make me look in future. How many people would think to actually look though? Drivers certainly should be responsible for their actions, but I'm sorry, I think a lot of mums have a lot to answer for. Who isn't busy? As a tradesman who is often around or passing schools whilst on house calls, it's bloody frightening to see the way some of them carry on. As somebody said before, hold their bloody hand until it's safe. I have two youngsters so I know it only takes a split second and they're off, but it's their parent's job to make sure they can't. This "busy" crap is what annoys me. Half of em can't wait to join their mates in the cappucino shop. I know that's not true of all, of course, but believe me, it's the mums that I make appointments with and half of them are "busy" entertaining themselves but it's not PC to have a go at mums who should be doing their jobs properly. To be honest I never realised why we had reverse angle parking until now. Bit of a rant at mums (or dad if he happens to be in charge) but nobody on Tv or talkback radio will hammer the message home. Those two posts should be broadcast on national TV. I know in the UK they have a lot of road/traffic awareness advertising. having scenes like those two near misses advertised at peak viewing times would do wonders for awareness.
AnswerID: 118089

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:45

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 18:45
"I still don't know what I should have said"

A mouth full of abuse would have been a good start, letting her know how close you came to turning little Buttercup into little Splat, and the fact she probably doesnt give ableep, but you would have had to live with that for the rest of your life if things would have evolved for the worse...

The fact she jumped in a 4B doesnt make any difference.
AnswerID: 118102

Reply By: Terrano Tripper (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 19:39

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 19:39
Outside our primary school they changed the side street parking to rear to kerb. Now everybody has to reverse park.

Most parents are parked before the school bell rings for the kids at the end of the day, so there are no kids in the way.

Then when kids are everywhere you are driving out in a forward direction and can see whats happening.

My boys are 9 and nearly 11 but they still hold my hand when crossing the road. They just accept it because it is the way it has always been.

I also test them regularly when crossing to see if they are watching and not just relying on me. You cannot be there for your kids all the time, you can only show them the right direction.

I'm glad you looked Skinny. Thanks on behalf of the unknown parent.

Wendy
AnswerID: 118108

Reply By: Phillydom - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 22:23

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 22:23
Skinny and vitara.....thanks for giving us all a wakeup call.....we all have our part to play in making sure that our aussie kids all get the chance to grow up and what ever it was that made you both look I AM SO GLAD YOU BOTH DID!!!!
regards Phil
AnswerID: 118154

Reply By: D-Jack - Thursday, Jun 30, 2005 at 08:59

Thursday, Jun 30, 2005 at 08:59
Alot to be said for 35 inch muddies, 6 inch lifts. Kid could be under your car and not even get hurt! Maybe we should use this example to legalise huge lifts!

D-Jack

p.s. just joking. Good to hear of your fortune. Got a 12 month old girl and one on the way in 2 months - will keep an even closer eye on them when around cars/trucks
AnswerID: 118196

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