I don't believe it , common sense?
"Greegor" wrote in message
Fall from truck brings charges for mom
By SHIRA SCHOENBERG Monitor staff
January 31. 2008 12:35AM
A Webster [ Massachusets ] woman is accused of putting her children in
the back of a pickup truck and accelerating quickly up her driveway,
causing one to fall out.
Jennifer Bartlett, 34, of 309 Tyler Road, will go to trial next week
on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of
reckless conduct. If convicted, she faces up to a year in jail and a
$2,000 fine on each of the charges, all of which are misdemeanors.
Bartlett's attorney, Paul Maggiotto, said his client did nothing
negligent. "I don't think the police did sufficient investigation to
substantiate the fact that having someone in the back of a pickup
truck on someone's property is enough to charge her with reckless
driving," he said. Bartlett could not be reached.
According to complaints, the incident happened at 3 p.m. Sept. 17.
Bartlett was driving with her two children - a boy, now 8, and a girl,
now 6 - in the back of the truck. The charges say the children were in
the enclosed bed of a pickup truck. When Bartlett accelerated, the
girl fell out and was injured. Webster Police Lt. Philip Mitchell said
the tailgate was likely down, which is how she fell out.
Maggiotto said the girl got a bump on her head, and Mitchell, who is
prosecuting the case, said she suffered "bumps and bruises on the
According to Maggiotto, the girl went to school the next day and was
asked how she got the bump. When she said she fell out of the back of
a pickup truck, the school called the police and the state's Division
for Children, Youth and Families. A DCYF investigation was closed
without finding any problems, Maggiotto said. DCYF could not confirm
whether it had investigated, because of confidentiality regulations.
Bartlett was arrested Sept. 18 and released on $1,000 personal
recognizance bail. She waived her arraignment.
Mitchell said the acceleration was "part of a game, just a bit of a
'go faster' type of thing." He said Bartlett told the police that she
had done the same thing in the past.
Allegations that it was a game suggest comparisons to the case of
Nancy Lamprey, a Loudon baby sitter convicted of manslaughter after
purposely fishtailing her truck, resulting in the death of one child
and the injury of others.
Mitchell said the Lamprey case shows the dangers of driving
carelessly. "One, it's illegal. Two, it's dangerous because these kids
get hurt," he said.
But Maggiotto said there are clear differences. Bartlett did not act
intentionally, he said. She was simply driving the children 50 feet up
a driveway from the bottom of the hill to the top. "That's something
the kids enjoyed," he said. "Rather than walk up to the top of the
hill, they would get a ride in their mother's pickup."
Maggiotto said it is unclear whether acceleration caused the accident.
"It's not sure what caused the child to fall out, whether she was
standing or whatever," he said. "She went about 50 feet on a driveway,
the little girl stood up and fell out the back of it. That's a dumb
thing to do, (Bartlett) won't do it again, but you've got to bring
criminal charges against her? . . . She's not a reckless or careless
driver that needs the weight of the state to come down on her."
Unlike the Lamprey case, Maggiotto said, "there was no intentional act
to zigzag on a public road to slosh the kids back and forth in the
back of pickup, nor did my client lie about it."
"To have it splashed in the papers (that) this is a case like Lamprey,
it bugs me she has to go through this," he said. "She's just a poor
woman. It could have happened to anyone who gives their kids a bit of
a ride on a pickup truck."
Bartlett's trial was scheduled for December but was continued after
the state subpoenaed her children. Maggiotto asked the court to
appoint a guardian or lawyer to represent the interests of the
children to determine whether they should be able to testify against
their mother. The trial is now scheduled for Tuesday in Franklin
------ End of article
By SHIRA SCHOENBERG Monitor staff
Can a person break a traffic regulation on their own property?
Yes, it was stupid, and she was a bonehead to
do this with kids 5 and 7 years old (at the time).
Under the modern rules of what defines parental
negligence, this would qualify I think.
The person who wrote the opinion piece
clearly doesn't know all of the many new
accusations that parents live in fear of.
Spanking limits and boundaries
Medical Neglect (for second opinion??)
Vehicular safety with kids (child restraint, speeding, OWI,
Safety in the home environment
Kids getting out for a walk by themselves
Emotional Abuse accusations ( vague, immaterial, chores, homework )
Kids telling fairy tales for jealous or attention seeking reasons
And various others...
In my state it is illegal for a child to be in the bed of a pickup truck
they are under the age of 16.
It is illegal for anyone, in South Dakota, to be unrestrained in a
vehicle...child or adult.
Can traffic regulations be enforced on private property?
I would not know for absolute certain, but I could guess that they can.
I base this guess on the fact that store parking lots are considered private
property here, and police do enforce traffic laws on private parking lots.