10-Year-Old Boy Ticketed For Improper Seat Belt Use

50848359 10 Year Old Boy Ticketed For Improper Seat Belt Use

AUSTIN (AP) – A “scared” 10-year-old Central Texas boy who stuck his head out the passenger’s seat window to get some fresh air says he was ticketed by police for improper seat belt usage after it slipped off.

Marshall May, a fourth-grader at Jim Plain Elementary School in Leander, just north of Austin, was on his way home in a minivan when he stuck his head out the window and his seat belt slipped, he said.

A Leander police officer pulled over the van that Marshall’s 19-year-old aunt, Ashley Arredondo, was driving and gave the boy a ticket after a brief discussion Tuesday.

“He said: ‘You were wearing your seat belt incorrectly. Sorry, but click it or ticket,”‘ Marshall said.

Apparently the child wasn’t properly wearing the belt because it wasn’t covering the top of his chest, said Marshall’s stepmother, Kristy May.

But Texas law states that the adult in the car is at fault when a child isn’t properly secured by a seat belt. Marshall’s aunt, however, was not ticketed.

Interim Leander City Manager Robert Powers told the Austin American-Statesman that the police officer just made a mistake but “it wasn’t anything egregious or malicious.”

The Police Department has taken procedural steps that may lead to the ticket’s dismissal but the municipal court must decide whether to actually dismiss it, Powers said.

“I was really scared,” Marshall said Thursday of the police stop. “He made me sign my signature, but I don’t have a signature because I’m 10 years old.”

The boy printed his full name instead.

“I thought it was a joke until I saw the actual ticket,” said Marshall’s father, Gabriel May. “I think they should drop it.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://dallasforme.com/2011/06/10-year-old-boy-ticketed-for-improper-seat-belt-use/ 10-Year-Old Boy Ticketed For Improper Seat Belt Use — Me and the Chicks

    […] said, “You were wearing your seat belt incorrectly. Sorry, but click it or ticket.” More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/0… PreviousPost […]

  • Melody

    Yet another example of police overstepping their authority and caring more about nitpicky details than what really matters. When will the madness end?

  • Trinity

    When will the police really get busy with real police stuff – stuff that will make out roads more safer – what about those road hogs who are properly “clicked’? It was probably too hot and he hadn’t written a ticket anmd he was afraid he wouild be reprimanded. Sorry Marshal it wasn’t your fault. It was an adult police acting poorly!

  • 2sister

    Actually, the police officer was probably correct to the car, but wrong in ticketing the child. He should have ticketed the aunt instead. The adult is responsible if a child isn’t restrained.

    Of course, he could have given the aunt a warning ticket, and showed her how the seat belt was supposed to be strapped. That would have been more helpful and might actually have saved future lives.

    • 2sister

      Oops. I left part of my sentence out. I meant to say, “Actually, the police officer was probably correct to stop the car, but wrong to in ticketing the child.” I was making some corrections, and forgot to put that part back in.

  • callen

    And police officers cannot figure out why they get paid so little …..

  • Jennifer

    And yet millions of school children ride to school on state funded school buses with no seatbelts even installed let alone used.

  • Chuck

    If my memory serves me correctly when they fist enacted seat belt laws they were only to be enforced it the vehicle was stopped for another infraction, you would not be stopped just for a seat belt infraction. That was the only way they could get them passed. What happened?

  • Trey

    Pigs being pigs.Any moron knows the ticket goes to the adult in the car.Frankly
    since the cop said click it or ticket it should be thrown out because he had it clicked.

  • RussP

    It’s always fascinated me that our government feels it is proper to force me to protect myself with seat belts or a motorcycle helmet but not proper to protect me from others who drive with cell phones in their hands or video displays where the driver can see them or many of the other dangerous things folks do while driving.

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    I once had a neighbor who lost an arm because he was riding with it on his car’s window edge and was side-swiped by another vehicle. My children have been warned about this for years. Sticking body parts out of a car window is dangerous. I’m sure this was the officer’s concern, not the seat belt. He was making a point for this boy’s future safety.

  • Hemroidious

    The boy and his aunt should have been Tazered, hand cuffed and hauled off to jail. That way they will learn.

  • Legal Beagle

    10 or 100 – the law is the law. However, because the 10 year old is a minor, It is the adult driver that should have gotten the ticket.

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