Where Have All The “Baby on Board” Signs Gone? (And Why?)

Hey Readers — Just got this sociologically stimulating note and wanted to post it for us to chew on. So chew!

Dear Free-Range Kids: The rise and fall of the “Baby on Board” signs is a fascinating case study for our topic of Free-Ranging.  The signs became popular as a plea for caution from other drivers.  They fell when paranoid rumors regarding kidnapping spread.

I am not sad the silly signs are gone but think about the cultural ramifications.  Thinking shifted from, “If the other drivers just knew there was a child in this car, they would exercise caution to help keep us safe,” to “If those other people know there is a child in this car they will do bad things to my family.”

(I cant believe I just defended Baby on Board signs which were one of the most obnoxious and silly inventions of all time.  But, they should have been banished for tackiness not paranoia.) — A Reader

A sign of the times. Just not THESE times.

149 Responses

  1. I actually have one on my car. It’s a magnet by my rear license plate. I was on the fence about it – not because of potential kidnapping, but because they’re ugly and I’m a big honkin’ snob…but then I was informed by Police Officer friends of mine that the sign lets them know to look for a child who may have been thrown from the car. Sold.

  2. I never had one (even thought I have three kids).

    I always thought those signs were so that, if you had a major car accident, the rescue workers would know to look for a baby.

    They are still very much in evidence here in Melbourne, Australia.

  3. I thought they were gone b/c they could turn into a “dangerous projectile” if you were ever in a car accident. Than again, so could pretty much everything else floating around loose in the car.

  4. I still see them pretty regularly, although not as often as the “MY KID IS AN HONOR STUDENT” stickers.

  5. When I see those signs I know there’s a mom driving who has given up on being cute, but if I need Purell or tissues she has both in her purse.

  6. I have never had one. But there was a “Simpsons” episode where Marge had one and she said “Look! I just got a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker. Now people will stop intentionally ramming the back of my car!”

  7. I haven’t seen one in a long time. Don’t miss them either. I figure my carseats are plenty of warning that a baby could be in the car. If the accident’s so bad the carseats aren’t pretty obvious, the baby on board sign probably won’t be that obvious either.

  8. I’m just curious, wouldn’t the baby seat on the back seat of the car give a cop a clue to look for said child? I remember the one and only accident I’ve ever had, a small car t-boned my rig, the first thing I saw was the empty baby seat in th back of the car, I was panicked until the driver told me baby was safe at home.

  9. I thought I read somewhere (that infamous place) that many emergency personnel don’t like the signs because they get put in places that mess up the driver’s ability to see.

  10. I always figured it was because they never could develop plastic suction cup thingies that wouldn’t dry up and drop off on the first hot day…

  11. @Jessica – all of your assumptions would be wrong with me. (I haven’t given up, I don’t use purell or any other hand sanitizers, and we’re a hanky family) but thanks for playing!

    @enyawface – if the seat is also thrown from the car…it’s a backup.

  12. The signs do not warn rescue workers, at least, that wasn’t there purpose. You can read about that myth on snopes.

  13. One more thing OT. While I was watching Lenore’s video on whereparentstalk.com I saw an ad for this atrocious dynowear that claims to “Protect your child from the bumps and bruises associated with developmental sports and recreation activities using Dynowear, exclusively designed in Canada to reduce the frequency and severity of sports and recreation related injuries.” Ridiculous!

  14. Some joker along the way to my MIL’s house has one posted at the end of his driveway, only instead of “baby on board” it says, “small yellow sign”.

  15. Despise those signs because they are the absolute epitomy of the obnoxious ‘my child should be the centre of the universe’ mentality. And they are still all over the place here in Ireland.

  16. oh em gee- that’s actually less paranoid than the reason I was told for the “death to all baby on board signs!!”

    Someone actually told me that they should BAN them because they are hazard to children- they could come loose in a car accident and decapitate the child…

    I wish I were kidding…

  17. I thought they were so you could drive in the car pool lane.

  18. Like Miss Jane, I thought the purpose of them was for driving in the carpool lane, since you have to have two people in the car. Other drivers might not see the baby in the back and think you were abusing carpool privileges (as if driving around your baby was “carpooling”!). Don’t know where I heard that, though… sounds like we’re all rumors and conjecture here! I saw one just the other day and thought “Hmmm, I haven’t seen one of those in a while!”

  19. In one of the Ugly Doll books there is a picture of a vehicle with one of these signs, but it says “Baby Is Bored.” I keep hoping I’ll see them being sold somewhere in real life.

  20. I agree with A–I disliked them because I never agreed with the notion that a child’s life is more important than an adult’s. I didn’t have children then–I do now, and I still don’t agree with the notion that a child’s life is more important than an adult’s. All human life, from 1 month old to 90 years old, is precious.

    LRH

  21. So timely, I saw one yesterday and thought to myself, “hmmm, haven’t seen one of those in a while” so yes, they seem to have become less popular. Replaced by those (equally tacky) family stickers where each person in the family has a sticker. George Carlin has some funny stand up about those Baby on Board stickers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDs9rQRx0DI

  22. [...] Where Have All The “Baby on Board” Signs Gone? (And Why … [...]

  23. I have one of these. The only place that my son’s carseat fits is in the front side passenger seat of the our airbagless 1992 chrysler minivan. That’s not where most first responders would look for a baby so a bright yellow sign that indicates that there might be a baby in the car makes me feel better in the event of an accident. Our van is ridiculously old and on its last legs so I’m not too worried about tacky lol :)

  24. I’ve seen a rise of those family silhouettes. You know, the ones in Calvin pissing on Ford fashion… white, line drawings, sometimes they include names even. So, you’ve got mom, pop, all the kid, and the pets. On the back windshield.

  25. I saw a “child on board” sticker just yesterday on a brand new minivan. I can tell you as someone who has both been in a significant car accident and one who has worked as a paramedic, that if kids are properly strapped into the car, there is very insignificant risk of them being ejected from the vehicle. These signs are nothing more than amusement. The only time these signs would make me drive more cautiously is if I notice that the child on board, is actually the one driving the car.
    Do yourself a favour and strap your kids in good and tight and make sure everyone is buckled in before moving the vehicle out of park. We do a verbal “check” for each passenger in my car before taking off.

  26. Maybe (but I”m not convinced) these were invented so emergency workers look for kids after crashes. For one thing, parents don’t always travel with their children; second, there are other clues in the vehicle that point to the presence of children. Most importantly, emergency workers are trained to search the entire area of a crash for other potential vehicle occupants, whether or not there is a sign in the window, a car seat, Cheerios on the floor, etc.

  27. I think the parents who have them are mean – take the kid off the board and put it in a car seat ;-)

  28. PottyMouthMommy, you are kidding. Even if that ever happened, which I can’t find the proof of to back it up, the amount of times such a tragedy occurred would make it less likely than being struck by lightening.

    Heck, you’re more likely to be killed by a car without the sign already. Please put things in a bit of perspective.

  29. They’re quite trendy in London at the moment for some reason. Especially the sickeningly pink “Princess on Board” ones.
    We’re told that they’re for emergency personnel to look for a child in case of an accident where people need to be rescued form the vehicle.

  30. I was indifferent about them, but my husband was anti them until I mentioned (out of interest, not in any persuading sense, I wasn’t bothered either way) that I’d heard they were of help in an emergency situation and he immediately decided to get one, so we did.

    We lost it when the car went in for a service and haven’t replaced it since, mind!

    There’s not been any paedophile hysteria about removing them yet here in the UK. Yet.

    Like Karen I loathe those bloody ‘Princess on Board’ ones.

  31. I think the “princess on board” ones are referring to the Mothers…..

  32. well, slightly off topic, but not really, proof of today’s mindset. I just stumbled across this:

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-plains-mo/T1NM8R1F689JR47BI

    Page down to read the comments.
    Veeery scary.
    I love the way the one poster – who seems the most hell-bent on locking up any parent who lets their six year old ride their bike up and down the street alone – moniker is “Tired”. I bet she/he is!

    But of course to her way of thinking, all we parents who are – God forbid! – enjoying life with our children are LAZY. Why is that that crowds constant grip? Sheesh. Like being lazy is a bad thing.

  33. I’ve always figured that they’re a warning to other drivers to give extra space because the driver may be distracted (due to said baby on board) and may drive somewhat erratically.

  34. I think you see less of them now for the same reason you see less “Silly Bandz” this year. The trend has run its course.

  35. @ Tuppence–that thread read like a parody or a skit. Maybe a script from Mompetition?

    I hope it was.

  36. And I thought they had just gone out of fashion!!!

  37. My mom had one of those signs. It was a present from my little brother, and it said “my other car is the Batmobile.” ;)

    I think the signs are stupid, but the paranoia is worse.

  38. @Kathryn — I thought the same thing! This has got to be a parody. (Yeah, probably where Mompetition goes for inspiration!) I’d love to be wrong about this — but I don’t think it was.

  39. Where are the numbers supporting “A Reader”‘s assertion? And even if the sales curve matches the news alarm curve, that does not prove causation.

    It’s an interesting idea, but I think it’s disproven by all the other decals, bumper stickers, etc. that people use on their cars to talk about their kids.

    Mostly, I think, a lot of people (and I still see those signs) gave in to the mocking that the rest of us provided, and fashions changed.

  40. Carseats are attached securely to the car with tethers and seatbelts. A Baby on Board sign is attached to the window by suction cup or, apparently, license plate by magnet. If, perchance, a car accident is so severe that the tethers and harnesses holding in the carseat to the vehicle are broken allowing the carseat to be thrown from the vehicle, what are the chances that the Baby on Board sign is still nicely secured to the car? I’m going to go with pretty damn close to non-existant.

    Further, first responders don’t actually look for Baby on Board signs or care if they are there. Since babies do not live in cars 24/7 nor are they required every single second that that particular vehicle is in motion, first responders look for actual indicia that a child was present in the car at the time of the accident not for a sign that indicates nothing more than that the owner of that car had a baby at some point during the ownership of the car. The driver asking about a baby, a diaper bag, a carseat, the broken tethers from a carseat, contact from family saying the baby was in the car are all indicia of a missing baby. A sign is not.

    I think the Baby on Board signs were one of the first signs that something is truly going wrong with the thinking in this country. This was one of the first indicia of child-first thinking that has gripped the western world and careened it into helicopter world. The idea that an a child’s life is superior to an adult’s life and that everyone who comes in contact with a child should act in accordance with the notion that protection and happiness of the child is of utmost importance subjucating everything else. Kids are just people. Nothing more and nothing less. I realize that my child is the center of my world, but to everyone else, she’s just another person to be protected and respected as we should protect and respect ALL fellow human beings on the planet .

  41. See, I thought they were banished for the obnoxiousness. I know for a fact that there was tireless teasing of friends and family with such signs. Add a minuscule dose of paranoia on top of a though process that is tenuous from the get go you have people abandoning the nonsense.

  42. anonymousmagic – You might want to reread her comment. She doesn’t believe that herself, someone else told her that.

    I think the belief of “Baby on Board” signs as potentially decapitating projectiles was covered about a month ago here. You might want to peruse the archives and check out that thread.

    In short, no one said it actually happened, but that people believe it could. It’s the epitome of “worst-first” thinking.

    More on topic, I was amused to see my local Babies R Us carrying the Especially for Baby line of parody signs, including “Princess on Board,” “Chick Magnet on Board,” “Drama Queen on Board,” and “All Star on Board.”

  43. When we were getting ready to leave the hospital with our daughter in late September, we were told by the car seat expert (can’t be discharged without talking to her!) that “Baby on Board” signs and window shades with suction cups were a decapitation hazard in an accident. When I asked how many children had suffered such a fate, she said “Oh a lot.” We didn’t buy it and ended up writing a letter to the hospital about her fear mongering visit (I could write a novella on her 30 minute visit with us — at one point we almost had her in tears because we refused to be scared into submission by her non-facts).

  44. Re: Tuppence’s link – perhaps the original article is parody (don’t know, it didn’t load for me), but the comments both scare and sadden me.

  45. Donna, if it wasn’t meaningless to do so, I’d stand up and applaud right now. As it is, I’ll just say kudos. You’ve nailed every point.

    The “decapitation” story was much more than a month ago, but it was covered here.

  46. I don’t get the “driving in the car pool lane” one, either. So other drivers ignorantly think nasty thoughts about you because they can’t see how many people are in your car — so what? What do they do, call the cops? Do the cops really show up to pull people over in the car pool lane based on reports that other people can’t see a second person in the car? If not, what does the sign accomplish?

  47. “The only place that my son’s carseat fits is in the front side passenger seat of the our airbagless 1992 chrysler minivan. That’s not where most first responders would look for a baby so a bright yellow sign that indicates that there might be a baby in the car makes me feel better in the event of an accident. ”

    All of this assumes that first responders don’t *always by definition look in every part of the car to make sure there’s nothing important they’ve missed.* That doesn’t make any sense. Do you really expect first responders will not look in the front seat of the car well enough to notice something as large as a baby if there’s no sign there? What kind of idea do people have about how first responders do their jobs if they think they will do it in such a way not to notice *entire people inside the car* if they’re not alerted by a sign?

  48. “This was one of the first indicia of child-first thinking that has gripped the western world and careened it into helicopter world.”

    Keeping with the sociology theme, I have to disagree. In almost every society, the young are cared for by the community. Children feed first in famine, they are celebrated and used as a measure of the health of the community. Child first thinking is actually natural to all animals on earth–survival of the species.

    This is not to speak to specific behaviors including those covered on this website. Adults and children both have rights, but in most societies there are places that the line inconveniences one or the other. For instance, children have to go to school but may avoid prison for some indiscresions that an adult would serve time for committing.

    We have to be careful because the problem is not in child first thinking but in the specific actions, behaviors and decisions which result in children who grow to be noxious adults.

  49. I think they serve as a good warning to other drivers that the driver of that car may be distracted by their children; so watch out!

  50. I don’t know anyone that stopped using them out of fear of their child being kidnapped. They stopped using them because they are dumb. Who over analyzed that fad going out?

  51. @Sally: I never saw that episode of the Simpsons, but that’s how I’ve always felt about the stupid signs.

    When I was pregnant with my first child, a friend bought me a sign from a Japanese import store. It’s a yellow square with a silhouette of a pregnant person, with a heart where the baby would be in the large belly. Then underneath it says, “Maternity in the Car. I am Safety Driver”. It’s pretty funny, but I never put it on the car, even as a joke.

  52. Brian, I think there’s a difference between “child first” in the sense you mean it — children get considered ahead of adults because they’re unable to compete and provide for themselves and so need our protection and the use of our resources — and the way Donna meant it, which I take to mean that each individual child is valued more than any given adult, as a “baby on board” sign would imply. There’s no “child first” in the sense you mean it reason to drive *more* carefully in the presence of a child in another vehicle than you otherwise would, unless driving to work is considered some kind of survival situation where you’d otherwise have little regard for safety. There is a “child first” reason to do that in the sense Donna means it — remember that every with a child in it also has an adult in it, so the implication is that the mere presence of the child ups your concern for life and safety in general.

    I agree that the signs probably faded because they were a fad, but the point is that there are actually people out there either saying it happened because of predator danger, or saying that they personally don’t use them for that reason. So even if the real reason they fell into disuse is trivial, there are still cuckoo things being said that should be challenged.

  53. “every CAR with a child in it also has an adult in it”

  54. Still unsure about the purpose of the signs. Can’t everyone clearly _see_ the infant perched right there on the passenger seat of my motorcycle?

  55. I think that the BOB sign was replaced by those family of stick figures decals (Mommy, Daddy, 2 kids and which sometimes incude a cat or a dog).

    For the worst first thinking crowd, I’m certain these cause panic, as now every perp behind your car (or more often, minivan or SUV) knows exactly how many children you have and of what gender. DOH!

  56. @ RareRoastBeef… No we can’t… not if your “baby on board” sign is in the way ;-)

  57. The baby on board signs have been replaced with the “every-member-of-the-family” decals!

  58. “Children feed first in famine, they are celebrated and used as a measure of the health of the community. Child first thinking is actually natural to all animals on earth–survival of the species. ”

    Actually, it is only natural in most animal species to believe in your own children first. Animals biologically only care about the surival of their own bloodline, not the entire species. While the females of some species will, in fact, babysit the children of other females, the males of many species will instinctively kill the children of other males. Further, I don’t know of any other species where an adult is expected to sacrifice him or herself for the preservation of offspring not biologically related to him. A lion is not going to fight a male who wants to kill the offspring of another.

    There is also a huge difference between making sure basic necessities of children are met before the adults and catering to whims of every child at the expense of the adults. While I would certainly hope that someone would feed my starving child as that is what is required for basic humanity, I do not expect that someone will completely alter their life to accomodate my child. That is what I meant by child first thinking. This belief of western world that the interest of children should always come before the interests of adults.

    “but in most societies there are places that the line inconveniences one or the other. For instance, children have to go to school but may avoid prison for some indiscresions that an adult would serve time for committing. ”

    How exactly does either of your examples inconvenience adults? It is certainly different treatment due to the different developmental levels of the people involved but I don’t feel inconvenienced by a child not going to prison. There are times when protecting the interests of adults impacts children and protecting the interests of children impacts adults. However, to hear most people talk today, the interests of adults should ALWAYS be subservient to children and NEVER negatively impact children.

  59. @Tuppence, wow, that is OVER THE TOP.

    I also would have thought it must be parody if I didn’t belong to a mommy message-board community where I encounter similar OTT worst-first thinking *all the time*. It’s very tiring, but I stick around in case people are lurking on those threads who might be inspired BT hearing a different POV — and because a few times people actually have thanked me for being the voice of reason.

  60. In the hospital where my son was born, one of the “new parent” handouts they gave us warned against “Baby On Board” signs as well as birth announcements as attracting “unwanted attention” or something like that.

  61. I never really thought much of the sign. Although, there were times I’ve found it ironic that some of the craziest drivers I’ve seen had those signs hanging from their rear window. It’s the classic case of “what if”, which is directly related to paranoia. This is like the saying “guns don’t kill people. People kill people”. It’s not the sign, it’s the people. Whether you have a sign, flashing lights, and balloons indicating you have a child, or not, if someone wanted to kidnap you child they will. News flash, or should I say OLD news flash, the chances of a total stranger kidnapping your child is far, far, far less than someone you already know (a family member most times) kidnapping them. So whether you have a Baby On Board sign, or not, the person(s) who you fear would kidnap your child already knows you have one. They’ve probably also held them, played with them, and had dinner with you.

    So now, do you fear EVERYONE? Or do you use common sense. Paranoid dummies. lol

  62. As usual (there are exceptions), once again I agree very much with Donna.

    It is true, this whole “for the children” thing has really gotten wacko. I’m not judging anyone, at least I hope not, but I think the whole co-sleeping thing is often-times about that. Very often it’s about convenience for the mother (he’s right there, easier to feed), but often it’s about “I can’t leave them in there by himself, it upsets him!!” but meanwhile what about your spouse who’d like some time alone with you? You’re okay with upsetting THEM? You’re okay with modeling to your children that time with them matters more than time alone with your wife or husband? How about training them that, for 30 minutes, they can play alone with their toys while mommy & daddy spend some time alone in the room next door, and DO NOT bother them for ANY reason other than, say, the house is on fire.

    Not hear to bash co-sleeping itself, it also applies to things like noisy kids in a doctor’s office not being controlled. It applies to how they have these new gasoline cans you can barely use at all, with all that safety junk on it, because “a child may get into it.” Well how about convenience for the adults who actually USE them, and training the child to leave it the heck alone–and wooping that butt if they don’t obey? (Hence, everytime I see an older gasoline can at a garage sale, I grab one–I probably have 15 of them stockpiled, because I want to make sure I never ever have to resort to using one of the new ones for as long as I live.)

    It applies to things like, when I was still single, every single time I went to a single mother’s house for a “date,” the TV would always invariably have kid’s programming on, and the “date” was sitting around watching whatever the child liked. I recall, when growing up, I got to watch Saturday morning cartoons, but the rest of the time, it was what the PARENTS dictated. Don’t you think your date deserves as much? It’s not like you’re otherwise with your child the other 6 days out of 7 and they get their preferences then, they can suck up one day out of the week when your date comes by.

    It applies to things like how, for instance, one of our family members who didn’t want to gather at a place the rest of us were okay with for a given occasion said this because “my children don’t like it.” Well what about the 5 adults who do? Have you ever heard of telling your kids to deal with it? It wasn’t about how it was unsafe for them, but that the kids didn’t LIKE it.

    One of our other family members, when watching their kids, complains how one of them “won’t eat anything but candy.” Well maybe that was because, when they were younger, every single time they cried for a piece of candy you never ever said no and stuck to your guns.

    Again–a child’s life is no more important than an adult’s, and the point in which we didn’t understand this is the point in which we lost it, I think.

    LRH

  63. Just to play devil’s advocate here – why do we assume that the Baby On Board signs are always meant to ask other drivers, rescue workers, whatever – to put the baby’s safety first above the adult in the car?

    Here’s why I ask – my biggest fear as a new parent of a 7 month old is that something will happen to ME and my son will be left without a mother.

    Now I don’t have and never would have one of those signs on my car, but is it so farfetched to ask if the plea made by these signs – “Please drive carefully around this vehicle” – is just as much about keeping the family unit safe as the baby him-or-herself?

    While I agree that the signs are pretty obnoxious and in many cases arrogant, I do think that cues to remind people to pause and think before driving like assholes can be helpful.

    Perhaps a “Stop driving like an asshole, please” sign would be a better idea! lol

  64. @Jessica G: Why would you assume it’s a mother driving? Father’s drive their kids around in SUVs and mini vans as well. I have baby wipes in my car for when my nephew rides with me. Does that make me a mother? The best way to live life, is always keeping an open mind, and not fall into the Lemur way of thinking.

    @Larry: At a certain age, I would have to say a child’s life is more important than an adults. They can’t fully fend for themselves, and need the guidance to learn how to as they get older. That responsibility falls on the parents. So in a sense, their lives do take precedence over the parents. Not to say adults life has less meaning. But if the choice came down on whether you live OR your child lives, would you choose your life, or his? I take it most parents would choose their child’s over their own. Which in essence means the child’s life is “more important”.

    @courtney: lol good for you. It’s quite amusing how some people are so delusional that if you don’t head their words they take it extremely personally.

    @JT: I’d would have given a chuckle and tossed in the trash or handed it back to them. Maybe even mentioned how many trees were wasted to make this useless crap.

  65. *by hearing

    I need to stop posting from my iPod.

  66. @ JLK – However, your scenario assumes that we should put “family” lives over those of single people. That now because a person has reproduced, their lives are more valuable in some way than those who have not reproduced.

    The fact is that people should be more attentive to driving. It should not matter whether a child is in the car, a parent is in the car or a single person is in the car. I don’t think that we need to encourage standards of care in driving that make judgments based on WHO the occupants of the other vehicles on the road are. A mother is no more entitled to ask someone (via sign or otherwise) to be more careful in their driving than a non-mother. A baby is not more entitled than an adult. We should all simply drive in a courteous and responsible fashion because there are other people on the road and we don’t want to injure them regardless of who those people are.

  67. I always got a chuckle because the majority of the ones I saw were on cars that were speeding.

  68. @Emily there are always outliers

    @Eric Um… I’m sexist. That’s not exactly a big reveal

  69. I had a “brat on board” sign with our eldest. We couldn’t find a “baby on board” one at the time. I miss that sign.

  70. This reminded me of the Simpsons’ episode from way back when:

    On a more serious note: I’ve noticed these signs, but to a lesser extent than those obnoxious (to me, anyway) “Proud Parent of An Honor Student” or overly-cutesy family stickers.

    I’ve also heard a similar argument for the “Tot Finder” stickers that were popular in the late70s/mid 80s, that they, too, would be too much of a beacon for pedophiles. Which is silly, considering that a) my child’s safety from fire is a higher concern than that of any randomly-stalking pedophiles and b) would these supposed pedophiles be casing house windows for “Tot Finder” stickers anyway?

  71. This 80’s fad reared its ugly head again but thankfully didn’t catch on. If you’re in New Jersey and have “Baby on Board” in your rear window, you can be ticketed for having an obstructed view.

  72. My favorite “obnoxious” bumper sticker was, “My daughter was Citizen of the Month at Las Colinas.” For those of you not from San Diego County, Las Colinas is a women’s prison.

  73. The paedo baby on board sign thing is absurd, like so many paranoid parenting things, if you follow it to its logical conclusion, which is – no one must know you have a child.

    And the argument is the a paedophile might ‘follow you home’ if they see ‘Baby on Board’? Because children are so rare and hard to locate.

    If a ‘Baby on board’ sign endangers your child, then surely does anyone at all knowing you have kids. So you’d better smuggle them to your car in bags, then ask them to keep their heads down. Oh, but hang on… you have to have car seats! That’s a dead giveaway. Better have blackout windows as well then. And on your house.

    And they’d better not play in the garden and make noise – people will know you have kids living there.

    It’s insane that people can forget that the clearest sign that you have a child is… uhm, that you have a child. You can hide that Baby on Board sign, but what about the baby?

  74. @Jessica G: To each their own I guess. At least you can admit to it. lol It’s too bad though, closed minds comes closed doors. If ever you wonder…”why me?”

  75. Ages ago one of my friends who was a skater had a sign like this that she altered to say, “Babe on A Board.” Now whenever I see one of those signs, I always think of her.

  76. Here all this time, I assumed that it was due to tackiness.
    I think I live under a rock.

  77. Homer Simpson singing the song “Baby On Board” is one of my favorites.

    I think that they have been replaced by the white outlines of family members. Not long ago I saw one with the two parents, a few kids, a dog, a cat and a T-rex.

  78. Not to get too serious on a snowy day, but I stand by the idea that humans from all cultures and animals have an innate tendency to protect the young, especially of their own species. I also agree our current mores are out of whack and that many people have miss-applied the natural tendency to think of children first.

    It is pretty common in human society for people to change behavior in order to “present an example to the children” and/or out of “respect for elders.” I think it all comes from the same empathy that is naturally encouraged through evolution.

    I see no problem with protection our environment or lowering national deficit because our children will pay for our excesses. It is great when people seek to obtain a degree because they want to be an example to their child. Same goes for people who are heroic because they want to be able to answer their children when they ask “what did you do when…?” Or volunteers at a soup kitchen who do so as an example to their children.

    Larry, I think you would agree there is a line in each case you described that gives the child some rights beyond those of the parent. E.g. the parent shouldn’t watch ANYTHING on TV, hard core pornography would be inappropriate but that doesn’t mean watching Barney instead of the football game. Gas cans should have reasonable protections, although perhaps ones that are less cumbersome for users.(etc. etc.) The protection of the children does trump the rights of those adults but not to the extreme in which they have been applied.

    On the other side, Donna, how can you ask others to sacrifice to feed your child in a famine but not to drive more carefully because they might harm a child? Its the same emotion of empathy towards the young that drives both actions. Why is the greater sacrifice more appropriate than the easier one?

    I think we can agree there is a line that is drawn on the side of children. Its just that our society takes the material comfort/happiness of the child as its measure instead of the “actual” good for the child. Hence the “right to cry” in a restaurant instead of the “right to be taught how to behave.” Too much candy as a baby, no chance to break a leg, classes instead of play, over-involved parents, etc., etc.

    But instead of discrediting the natural force of Child First thinking, why not harness it towards living better lives ourselves and challenging ourselves to create a society that strives to be better in the future…for our children.

  79. Back in 1986 or 1987, shortly after I got my license and my first car, I bought two joke signs. One said “stupid yellow sign on board” and three other said “ha ha, made you look”. Yes, I was kind of a dork back then…

  80. @pentamom – My uncle is a firefighter and said to get one. Also, my car seat is only secured by the belt strap which, being almost twenty years old could very well break in the event of an accident. Thus, it is likely that in the event of a car crash ( a major one) the car seat will be thrown. A bright yellow sign, even if it comes off is still a hell of a lot easier to see. I’m also a young mom so they might not think to look for a baby because I don’t carry a diaper bag ( I keep the diapers and portable wipes in my shoulder bag), don’t often have a stroller, and the only indications of there being a baby are the little yellow sign and that car seat.

  81. “On the other side, Donna, how can you ask others to sacrifice to feed your child in a famine but not to drive more carefully because they might harm a child? Its the same emotion of empathy towards the young that drives both actions. Why is the greater sacrifice more appropriate than the easier one? ”

    Because the implication is that I *wouldn’t* ask you to drive more carefully *if it were just me!* Or your grandma! Or some random adult male!

    It’s not that it’s too much to ask people to drive carefully around children, it’s that implied permission to be less careful around non-children is offensive.

  82. “On the other side, Donna, how can you ask others to sacrifice to feed your child in a famine but not to drive more carefully because they might harm a child? Its the same emotion of empathy towards the young that drives both actions. Why is the greater sacrifice more appropriate than the easier one?”

    Famine was not mentioned in my post or your original statement. Personally, I would absolutely NOT ask someone to give my child food in a famine (outside of an aide agency). I would expect that a starving person who finds food in a famine would give it to their own children/family members, not mine. I would not ask anyone to sacrifice their children/family members/selves for mine. I would, however, in our western world of plenty hope that if someone comes across my child hungry that he or she would give her food as I would theirs. However, my generosity doesn’t stop with children. If I can afford it, I’m more than willing to give food to a hungry adult as well.

    As Pentamom said, the problem isn’t with asking people to drive safely. The problem is this notion that ADULTS don’t deserve the same standard of care. It’s as if it’s okay to drive recklessly as long as you’re only going to kill an adult.

  83. “I see no problem with protection our environment or lowering national deficit because our children will pay for our excesses. It is great when people seek to obtain a degree because they want to be an example to their child. Same goes for people who are heroic because they want to be able to answer their children when they ask “what did you do when…?” Or volunteers at a soup kitchen who do so as an example to their children. ”

    But why do we need children to justify doing any of this? We should want to preserve the environment and lower the deficit because it’s better for everyone. Getting a degree solely to set an example for your children is stupid and a waste of money. Degrees should be obtained to fulfill a life goal for yourself. You should be heroic because it’s the right thing to do not because you may one day have a child who may ask you “what did you do when…?” We should all volunteer to those less fortunate because, again, it’s the right thing to do and not just to set an example for our children.

    I’m actually appalled by the notion that other adults and a thriving society in which those with plenty help those in need is not sufficient to do the things you mention. That we should actually need the motivation of having a child to make those types of choices.

  84. My sister, who is a rather sexy gal, has this sticker on her car: “Babe On Board”. Funny!

  85. Donna Again, right on.

    NJMomI like that. To wit, my own sticker would read: I Brake For Babes, ha ha.

    In fact, I have some suggestions for some sarcastic type of signs, printed in that triangular-shaped yellow of course:

    Baby Beater On Board (my favorite)
    I Speed Up For Nancy Grace (Ha Ha Ha Ha!)
    My Child’s Staying Late After School To Complete His Meth Lab
    In Case Of Emergency, Check Trunk For My Children
    Lenore Skenazy For President
    I Flip Off Slow Drivers
    I Brake For Tail-Gaters

    Ha ha.

  86. I find this discussion fascinating. I understand the idea of it being offensive to ask adults to treat children better than they do each other, I just think it may be human nature to do so. I have to think more about it and perhaps even break out my John Stewart Mills and John Locke for a quick touch up especially on additional rights of children. Both say children can be justly denied certain rights (vote, etc.) but I am not sure about additional rights.

    Certainly most of humanity doesn’t behave consistently with your position. A child or puppy evoke more empathy than an adult. “Woman and children first” is practiced in disasters. But is this good? I don’t know. I have to think more about it.

  87. On children as motivation, I tend to side with Judaism’s take on virtuous acts which boils down to “who cares why you do good as long as the action is good” as opposed to Aristotle who argues we must “do the right thing, for the right reason.”

    Until the 20th Century, in addition to children, ancestors and family name/legacy also served as motivating factors towards virtuous acts. Spiritually in many early Western and Eastern cultures and through gossip and shunning in later Western culture. Good for the sake of good was often held as the best motivation, but one thought to be unobtainable by most of us mortals.

  88. Aristotle said only then was the act virtuous. :-)

  89. “Certainly most of humanity doesn’t behave consistently with your position.”

    On this I disagree. Again, I don’t dispute that people treat THEIR children better than themselves or others, but not ALL children. Most will feed their own children before themselves. Most would probably share their food with a child quicker than with an adult. Howver, very few will starve themselves to feed a random unrelated child and those who will would likely feed everyone before feeding themselves.

    “A child or puppy evoke more empathy than an adult. ”

    I agree but that is generally due to the innocent nature of children and puppies and not because of some child first philosophy. We don’t sympathize as strongly with an adult who is hungry because we believe that adults made choices that placed them in the position in which they find themselves. Children (and puppies), on the other hand, have no choices. They can’t go out and get a job to pay the mortgage and buy food. They are innocent victims of circumstance.

    ““Woman and children first” is practiced in disasters. ”

    The belief that men could take care of themselves and women and children could not was actually the driving force behind this. The men must remain to help the women and children get out because otherwise the women and children could not do it themselves. And I seem to remember that the lifeboats on the Titanic contained men while women and children perished so, while it’s a nice thought, I don’t think that it’s highly practiced.

  90. Stickers are gone because they are stupid. That’s it. Please move on.

  91. I have to say with the little white stickers that people put one per family member on, I’d probably put on two dads, one mom, 30+ kids, 8 dogs, 15 cats and two shot down airplanes. Have to keep it absurd.

  92. [...] Where Have All The “Baby on Board” Signs Gone? (And Why?) Hey Readers — Just got this sociologically stimulating note and wanted to post it for us to chew on. So chew! [...]

  93. I have a little yellow sign on my back window too, it says “Mother-in-Law in Boot”

    (Boot is what Aussies call what you’d know as a trunk, just to translate from Australian for you)

  94. @Stephanie: I always joke that I need one where the dad is trying to grab the mom’s ass, the mom has a glass of wine, and all the kids are fighting or writing things on the back of the car. Oh, and someone is chasing the dog that got out AGAIN, and the cat is peeing in the clean laundry.

  95. In college I had one that said “Child in Trunk” plastered on the back of my VW Bug. It was fun to check my rear-view mirror now and then and see that I was able to give people a good laugh.

  96. Brian’s also kind of equivocating on what we do “for our children.”

    Yes, we’re concerned about lowering the deficit and keeping the environment decent “for our children,” but not because they’re children, but because they will be the people alive and responsible for the mess after we’re gone. The “baby on board” thing is the opposite — we’re supposed to care who’s in the car because it’s a baby, not because it’s a person who could be harmed by our actions, because the sign would be unnecessary if not for the baby — cars don’t drive themselves, so there is always a person to be potentially harmed in the car.

  97. “Baby on Board” by the Be Sharps

  98. I think the purpose of the “Baby on Board” sign is to warn other drivers that the parent driving is not paying any attention to the road because they are distracted by a screaming infant.

  99. It would appear every emergency service place has their own opinion on the “Baby on Board” signs.
    For us, if you notice them – it is something to consider.
    The person in charge of our scenes is the head firefighter – when “casing” the car, trying to figure out the best way to cut it apart, they will take note of anything that may indicate a child being present – including these signs.

    Children, and babies especially, are little, and fit into places that are hard to examine carefully in bad accidents.

    There is an accident we are taught of when a child was missed that happened in my area before I joined. It was a horrific accident site – at night, in the rain, multiple cars shredded, and bits of car hanging over the edge of a cliff, being held by the barrier, but not stable.

    In one of the shredded bits of car hanging over the edge an adult was found alive – the adult was asked
    “How many people in the car?”
    They answered. And the answer matched the number of clearly dead from that vehicle, plus the driver themselves.

    But, the driver had answered with how many people were in the car EXCLUDING themself. There was one extra person, a small child.

    That child was later found when removing the car from the cliff-face. Alive incidentally.

    The baby on board signs don’t worry me in the least, I know a purpose for them, whether or not it is the true one. They are reminders to emergency service personel to look closely in this vehicle. Keep in mind limited resources and what have you, and just what force can do for a car – it is often hard to determine a car seat in them after a really bad accident. We can be on our third day straight of constant on-calls and broken sleep. Any extra help in the reminder area I am going to appreciate.

    And honestly, when I’m driving I just consider those drivers with the “Baby on Board” sign to be sleep deprived and distractable, so I give them a wide berth, just like I do learner drivers ;)

  100. I still seem them around town, however i think that the parents (drivers) should slow down some. It seems like they are always speeding with a “Baby On Board”.

  101. [...] Finally, Lenore Skenazy makes a damn good point here. Posted by Thoreau @ 12:56 am, Filed under: Main Comments (0) « « Genuinely good [...]

  102. My child is now two and I still have the “baby on board” sign. I put it up there in my hopes that people would not tailgate or understand why I don’t participate in over speeding or road rage…and yes, for them to be more considerate and more cautious too that they’re following a vehicle with a baby in it.

  103. “Baby on Board” Signs are still common in Italy, but they read: “Bimbo a Bordo”

    As you can see here: http://bit.ly/dFVCsb

    Our son – recently home from Turin – informed us of this as he told about one harrowing drive in rush hour traffic he experienced with an amiable Italian friend who was carrying on simultaneous conversations on 2 cellphones. Admonitions to be careful feel on deaf ears, and they ended up in a minor wreck with a car that sported a “Bimbo a Bordo” sign in the window. Nobody was hurt and no damage was done, but I understand there was a lot of heated debate between the two drivers. Sounds like a scene in a movie, doesn’t it?

  104. With the sticky fingerprints on the window, cornflakes on the back seat and smily faces drawn in the condensation, i’ve never felt the need for one of the plaque thingies to let people know who was on board…

  105. I guess there is just no way to keep our children safe. Lol

  106. Here’s the Snopes article on the signs:

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/babysign.asp

    While paramedics may use them as an indicator of a child in the car at the time of an accident, that’s not what they were originally intended for. The company’s founder, and sign’s creator, wanted to come up with a way to make the streets safer, so he made a sign with the message of “drive safely.”

    The devil’s advocate position regarding first responders should also be noted – the presence of the sign can be misleading if there isn’t actually a child in the car at the time of the accident. This can be time wasted looking for someone who isn’t there. The only way signs such as this can be reliable is if the only time they’re present is when the child is actually in the car.

    Wendy — Just a random factoid: if your car is 20 years old, it’s likely made of a steel frame and is, generally speaking, safer than modern cars because in that respect. Also, once you graduate from an infant seat to a larger car seat, it will likely have the full LATCH system, which includes a tether that you can attach to something that’s welded to (or part of) the frame, providing you with more security than just your seat belt. Just a couple FYIs you might not know about.

  107. Wow! 106 messages! I don’t have time to read all the thoughts, but I don’t think the lack of Baby on Board signs has anything to do with stranger danger. It was a fad that came and went. Remember, there were more of those signs that said things other than Baby on Board. My mom gave me one that said “Awsome!” (It was the 80s.) We’ve just moved on to other fads, like the little stick figures on the back windshield and stickers that have your child’s name and sport. (And when I say we, that’s not really my style just as the Awesome sign was not really my style in 1987.)

  108. I jus twish I would have come up with the idea. I would have made a fortune.

  109. We live on a very busy neighborhood street – one of the thru-streets to the rest of the neighborhood. People fly and generations of parents (we live in my great-grandmother’s house) have feared for the safety of their kids with the drivers out there.
    I recently spoke with the City asking about the possibility of putting up a ‘Slow, Kids at Play’ sign.
    I was informed that, in Virginia, they are ILLEGAL!!! ILLEGAL!!!
    Apparently they lure parents and children into a false sense of security that cars will always stop for them. Parents quit teaching their kids the basic wisdom of looking both ways and not running out in front of cars. Kids quit bothering to do those things.
    He even told me our little city is thinking about removing some of the ‘STOP, Pedestrian Crosswalk’ because of the same reason. He said the college kids (we also live in a college town) don’t bother to take their eyes off their cellphones long enough to even look up before stepping out.
    They’re scared to death of lawsuits.
    It is utterly ridiculous.

  110. I question the line of thinking that BoB signs drifted by the wayside out of paranoia over kidnapping risk. I question it based on one basic concept: fads.

    The BoB signs brought us a ton of copycat types of signs, so it was only a matter of time before the trend died out.

    But also there has been a surge in the last few years of putting “family stick figures” on cars. This would, in essence, still draw the potential kidnapper’s attention. If the fear related to BoB signs was rooted in kidnap risk, there should not be a ton of this stick figures on cars.

    BoB’s vanished because the fad ran its course.

  111. It’s so obvious. The signs all got shredded from the helicopter moms’ blades.

  112. How interesting! My wife and I spotted one yesterday here in Southern California. She remembered how there used to be “variations” on the theme. I added, “Yes, like Mother-in-Law in Trunk.”

  113. I always thought those signs were to alert emergency workers in case of an accident so they would look for a baby. I heard of first responders freaking out because there was a baby on board sign but they could not find the baby near a car crash… people did not take the sign down when baby was not in the car and responders would look all over for a little one thrown from a car.

    Never heard of this as a way to get other drivers to be cautious around a parent’s car. maybe it’s the rural thing? I live in a western state and maybe we see it differently?

  114. The first thing I thought of was the (NSFW) George Carlin bit:

  115. I thought it was a short, gentle reminder for ”is the baby on board?’
    Just to double check :D

  116. I used to hate those BoB signs… until I had a baby. Why did I hate them? Because I thought it was all about the other drivers – hey be nice! I have a BABY! But after I had a baby I realized no! that isn’t what they are about! What they are about is saying “Hey – you other drivers! I’m a new mom and I have had no sleep and my hormones are totally crazy and I keep looking at my sleeping kid so WATCH OUT – I’m driving like an idiot!”

  117. Cops banned those signs where I was living when I had little kids because they obstructed the driver’s view.

    They were stupid, as were all the subsequent “Cocker Spaniel On Board”, “Giants Fan On Board”, etc., signs, so good riddance.

    Let’s hope those “My Kid Is An Honor Student At ____” bumper stickers follow suit, although I admit the responding “My Kid F___d Your Honor Student” follow-up stickers make me smirk.

  118. Also, on a tangential note about babies on board and parent drivers and bumper stickers, I was driving down the 101 and saw a couple in a Prius, windows all up, baby in carseat in back, with a bumper sticker plastered on their bumper warning about the horrors of veal because of how calves are treated, blahblah, and they were both puffing away on cigarettes in the sealed car with their poor kid trapped in the back enveloped in a cloud of second-hand smoke.

    Plastering smug personal statements about yourself all over your car is bound to result in an epic fail…kind of like those folks with the religious symbols hanging off their rearview windows as they weave in and out of traffic, flipping people the bird, tailgating, and whatnot.

  119. You know you-all sure are a negative bunch! I always thought they were mostly to say” I’ve got a baby” and serve as a gentle reminder not to drive like a raging asshole. Plus I think the little family stickers are cute and if you don’t like it, you can suck my tailpipe.

  120. Do you honestly think the asshole tailgating you cares if you have a baby on board? I think not.

  121. Good perspective on this Lenore. What I like best about this ‘back-and-forth’ or have them vs. “OMG, the RISK, don’t have them!” — is it really shows how easy the SHEEPLE can be manipulated — they’re like chess pawns.. . Now, what we should do is — with some of these other modern day “must haves” is —- lets start a viral rumor about the danger of it (like say “SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS or School Honor Roll stickers) and then we can watch the feeble minded scatter and scamble to scrap those stickers off.. Fun, Fun!!!

  122. I’m not a parent, but I used to have a “Baby on Board” sign on my car when I was a full-time nanny. It wasn’t really so much to remind other people not to drive like assholes (as I assume the people who drive like assholes are too selfish to care about anyone else on the road, adult or child), although if it did discourage crappy driving, that would’ve been a nice bonus. It was more to explain why I WASN’T driving like an asshole. Sort of a “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I’m not obeying the speed limit because I’m too stupid to step on the gas, nor am I refraining from turning right on red because I’m too stupid to realize it’s legal; I’m choosing to err on the side of caution, because I am currently directly responsible for another human being’s life, so please try not to waste your time getting annoyed with me, as your road rage isn’t going to convince me to change my driving habits” sign.

    Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t, but considering it only cost a dollar, I was willing to give it a try. It certainly didn’t hurt — I put it in a spot that wouldn’t impair my visibility, and I can’t say I noticed an increase in people tailgating my car or otherwise aiming road rage at me just out of spite. Pretty sure it didn’t inhibit the baby’s happiness or ability to fully experience life, either.

    Of course, I try not to drive like an asshole even when I’m the only person in the car, but they don’t make “Person who cares about following traffic laws and not recklessly endangering her life or the lives of others just so she can get to her destination two minutes earlier on board” signs, as far as I know.

    And for the record, I do find almost all car signs/bumper stickers/etc — even my own — pretty tacky. But if they serve an actual purpose, like informing others about why you’re driving a certain way, then it’s not quite so annoying (in my opinion). When they’re just there to brag or proselytize or provide trivial details about your life/interests, then yeah, it’s pretty obnoxious. But hey, to each his own.

  123. [...] where have all the “Baby On Board” signs [...]

  124. We have a “twins on board” sign, but that is just for boasting :)

  125. You forgot that the window ones could become projectiles and injury the baby hence the move to bumper ones.

  126. I say, “Why not?” Awareness is a good thing. Anyone who is out to cause harm will do so no matter what you have displayed on your car. Would love to hear your impressions of http://www.SignOfLabor.com for expectant women and those who support them (especially doulas and midwives). For me it’s about celebration and encouraging in-person interaction vs cyber-only interaction, which is where we all seem to focus nowadays. Any symbol we put out there is just another way to communicate, right?

  127. The ridiculous “projectile / decapitation” concern was discussed here last August – http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/baby-on-board-and-likely-to-be-decapitated/

  128. I hate these signs too. They were originally made so that if you were in a car accident and say the car rolled it was burning or some other horrible thing that rescuers or police, etc would know to look for a child in the car. The problem has always been that people leave them on the window even when there aren’t kids in the car. I wonder in it’s heyday how many times people searched for a child and couldn’t find them. Leaving them to winder if they were thrown from the car or burned.

    All I can say is ONLY have the sign in the window if there is, in fact, a “child on board.” because nobody cares if you have a child and it seems like people use them just to announce that they have a child/children. Good for you!

  129. I have one in my back window – it hides a blemish on the window, so I don’t feel the need to have it repaired. I might have put it in the window anyway, but it would have been more an announcement that I have a child. I don’t drive any differently when my child is in the vehicle and I completely ignore these signs on other people’s vehicles, so it serves no safety purpose from my perspective.

    I can’t see how they can obscure your vision unless they’re large or for some reason you choose to put it right in the middle of the window. I’ve never seen a case of someone doing the latter, nor have I ever seen a sign that was particularly big.

    “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I’m not obeying the speed limit because I’m too stupid to step on the gas, nor am I refraining from turning right on red because I’m too stupid to realize it’s legal”
    That’s what I’d call driving like an asshole.

  130. Gulp … we adopted our son last may. The first thing we bought after getting the call was a baby on board sign. My breath still catches every time I see it on the back of my car.

    So I challenge all you Baby on Board haters to a duel!

  131. I am not a fan of pranks, but this one was quite… Interesting… I was driving down the road and saw a baby on board sign in the back window. After about thirty seconds, someone took the baby on board sign down and chucked a carseat out the window! I skidded to a halt, almost flipping my car in the process and ran back to the place where the baby was thrown out. I was quite angered to see- a destroyed carseat and the remains of a plastic doll.

  132. Baby on Board Signs are FAB, I Love them :) Go to iwantthatsign.com the range is Incredible and the service second to none.

  133. ok, i must say that in australia “baby on board” sign equals “that person has no idea about driving”, seriously, every time i see someone with it, they have no clue what they are doing. As someone pointed here it might be cause they are trying to change nappies while drivining. No sure but i hate it. And on the other hand.. baby on board so what???? why should that mean to other drivers that they should be more careful? so if i dont have baby on board sign it means that they can run their cars into me? treat me in any other way? this is stupid.

  134. I just got a Baby on Board sign (today) in the slim hope that certain drivers near where I live, which is populated by all sorts of irresponsible drivers, may think twice before tailgating, switching lanes without signaling, and participating in other reckless driving behaviors. This is probably not realistic, I agree, but it’s my right–unlike the right for people to defy traffic regulations, which is illegal but certainly far more common than the use of these signs are today in the US.

    It’s perfectly normal–if anyone has observed driving in areas where speed and individuality on the roads are prized–to do absolutely anything that would possibly make even one or two drivers think twice before indulging in dangerous driving. Another poster made an excellent point: Such a sign may indicate why someone is not driving obnoxiously (far over the speed limit, etc), and that’s a good signal for others to observe.

    I hardly think someone would drive more hazardously upon seeing such a sign, but if they do, they’re far stupider than those people who put the signs in their car (for whatever reasons they do so). Put away your road rage, place yourself in a parent’s shoes, and calm down.

    If someone is “annoyed” by such a sign, they are far more moronic than the person who’s chosen to use one. Personal choice dictates that placing such a sign in a car is perfectly fine and even encouraged; how many people would say that they are socially encouraged to deride someone for using such a sign (or driving jerkily despite seeing one)?

    If someone thinks that a driver with a Baby on Board sign is a doting (or doddering mom or dad) who is a “bad driver”–I’ve never correlated these two in my 30 years of driving–and not a texting teenager or 20-something that feel traffic laws are flexibly in their favor–a far more common species of driver–one would hope that drivers would be slightly observant of this, even in a society where personal freedom (to do whatever act on the roads that one wishes) has long trumped social responsibility to be mindful of others in many aspects of public life.

    In terms of why one would choose to use a Baby on Board sign, the reason that police have recommended it in case of a search-and-rescue after an accident seems specious to me (I agree with other posters here).

    For a reason why some supposedly stopped using the signs: If anyone understands American society–instead of watching the TV news in a state of rapt paranoia–they’d know that the chances of your child being abducted are close to nil, and far less than him or her dying in a terrorist attack or of an extremely rare disease.

    Baby on Board signs are used for reasons of (and hopes for) safety, and thus have absolutely no relationship at all to “My kid is an honor student” stickers and other such prideful passages of cheerful allegiance (“I Love God” or “Vote for Obama” or “Cheney Country”).

    For those who wish to use a sign, please go ahead. For those who are annoyed, your freedom to have this feeling is fine–but disparaging people who post such a sign is very immature. It would be better to be put off by developments in Wisconsin, the sorry state of the global environment, or the frustration over the Chicago Cubs having, most likely, another losing season.

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  136. The idea that these were for emergency personnel is silly. The idea that these flimsy plastic signs are a decapitation hazard is ludicrous. The idea that they were “one of the first indicia of child-first thinking” is WTF?

    Seriously, there’s really not that much to read in to a little yellow sign.

    Have to agree with Mark Twain above. I’m a safe driver, and as such, I don’t go careening across the highway at breakneck speeds, riding other people’s bumpers, cutting people off, and generally acting like a crazy person.

    Since I live in a big city, however, plenty of people around me DO drive like this. They honk when I’m not willing to drive 30 over the limit, they ride my bumper, cut me off, and act like I should be a willing participant in their personal Death Race 2000.

    A Baby on Board sign may be “tacky” to other people, but who cares what other people think? If it keeps lunatic drivers from attempting to pressure me into driving like a maniac, then it makes my drive that much less stressful.

    And if it keeps some of the crazies from driving like that around me, then haven’t I done my part as a parent to keep my child safer from true danger?

    Sure, some drivers will never care and do it anyway. But they are no longer ignorant, so is their shame not compounded by endangering the life of a child?

    People are allowed to be annoyed all they want, but why not try to show some understanding at why others might be making a choice that differs from theirs?

  137. Perhaps it’s to remind people:

  138. Detergent dispenser
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  140. As a mommy to be, I can’t wait to get my sign. I don’t care if people think it is tacky – it lets them know that I have a child in my car. Either they will understand why I’m not speeding so they can get where they’re going quicker, and hopefully they will not be as aggressive with me. I was an aggressive driver as a teenager – and if I saw a “baby on board” sign I would stop tailgating. Even if i didn’t think a childs life is more important than an adults (even though I do – children are innocent – not a solid reason, but it works for me) I sure don’t want to be responsible for taking the life of a child. Killing an adult would be hard enough – a baby – I can’t imagine.

    The day I learned I was pregnant my driving habits changed – if the “baby on board” sign raises the safety of my child by even .5% I’ll take that.

  141. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 – Retribution (2011/RUS/ENG/RePack by R.G Modern)
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  142. Новини автосвіту та спорту

  143. sounds like all you anti baby on board sign folks drive slow cars, or you might be less judgemental.

    i drive a fast old family car. i like the power, but only when it’s needed, e.g. safe overtaking on minor roads. i normally drive relaxed and fairly slowly. despite being an old car, it is a vehicle that acts like a red rag to a bull as far as some competitive male motorway drivers are concerned. i used to be pestered with with these competitive idiots in BMW SUVs etc trying to prove their car is faster, sitting on my back bumper. you find yourself having to pull back into the slower lanes, getting stuck behind trucks, just to lose them.

    however, once they see a baby on board sign, they generally lose interest and back off.

    in this way, the little sign that you all get so het up about just plays a role in reducing stress and road rage.

    can’t see what’s the problem with it; lighten up.

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  145. I don’t get it. Do people actually change the way they drive depending on whether there is a baby human in a car vs. an adult human? Can someone make sure these people put a sign in their back window that says: I drive safer around you if you have a baby on board?

    I guess the idea is to make sure the baby grows up to be an adult so we don’t have to drive as safely? Complete stupidity.

    Plus I saw a woman with one of these in her window this morning and she was smoking. I guess that doesn’t affect the child at all. LOL Idiots.

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  147. why did i know this would be a woman writing it. Does it make itmore acceptable or cooler writing an anti-baby sentiment like this. Of course people got this sign to keep baby safe and then got rid ofit also to keep baby safe…whats the big deal. I cant stand women who try to be cool, like those driving suv’s to cart their kids around when they know a minivan is best – just to “look cool”. pathetic.

  148. Fear not. I. Have invented the new state of the art version. No words just a symbol. Similar to a handicap symbol it’s simply a baby in a car seat which will be illuminated. Stay tuned it’s in the process of being developed. It’s called the Child Safety Medallion. Should retail for about 20 bucks and will be installed along with your car seat. When the child sets down the symbol will light. Feel free to contact me to talk about it if you want. jaycee5@comcast.net

  149. My daughter is the nicest thing I have ever made, but please, how precious can we get? Those signs were the most hidious things ever invented…a decade later, we have stick ppl & even stick family pets… all mindless twaddle! nuff said

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