Protector fails

Was in the “city” today. Took my son to martial arts but pavers were working on the highway on the way home so decided to stop at a pizza place for dinner and to let the traffic clear out.

As we were leaving we passed a shiny new looking SUV with the engine running in the parking lot. No one in the drivers seat and all the windows rolled down. 3 young girls, probably 6-9, in the passenger seats.

We had passed an older gentleman, probably the kids grandfather, waiting to pick up a pizza at the counter. He had no view of the vehicle from where he was standing. Talk about the perfect opportunity for a car jacker or worse! I hung out in my vehicle for the at least 5 minutes it took the guy to return to his vehicle with the pizzas.

This little city is pretty safe by most standards but certainly not crime free. I occasionally leave my son in the car at the PO in my tiny, virtually crime free town. But the car is off, windows are up and doors are locked. My son also knows not to open the doors for anyone and to lay on the horn if anyone tries to get in. I also can see the vehicle the entire minute it takes to check my PO Box. I understand it can be tough to wrangle 3 young kids into a store for a quick pickup but would never tempt a criminal the way this idiot did.

Anyone else have good examples of people letting their guard down especially when it comes to keeping their families safe?


There is a nice deli near my home and cars have been stollen from right in front when they ran in to pick up. Right across the street carjacking have taken place in a catholic school parking lot. Everyday I see people making them selfs easy pray.
Stay sharp


Hopefully he took the key with him, at least.

A lot of vehicles now have push button start, and a ‘secure idle’ or similar, where if you put it in park and get out of the vehicle with the key on you, it will keep running, but won’t move out of park

Out of sight 5+ minutes with windows down is, well, kind of inexcusable though.


You will be lucky of you don’t get a visit from CPS for leaving your child unattended in a car with the windows rolled up. Take a couple extra minutes and take him in the P.O. with you. It isn’t worth those couple of minutes to get involved in a hassle with Child Protective Services. You may also be violating some law that you don’t know about. Many states have laws about leaving children and older adults in cars with the windows rolled up. We live in a world full of bullies who love to hassle people over things that our parents did with us. I used to wander all through the woods around our house even though we lived in a suburb south of Philly. Today, any parent that allowed a subteen to wander alone in woods for several hours would find themselves in court prosecuted for failing to adequately (in the minds of petty bureaucrats with no kids of their own) supervise their little darlings.

You were correct to monitor the situation until Grandpa returned. He really shouldn’t be taking the kids to the store with that careless attitude. I know he used to sit in the back of the pickup when he was their age and Dad & Mom were in shopping, but that was on a different planet in a different century.


I’m going to be lost once my van croaks. It’s all manual including the windows and locks and a good old fashioned key. To many do hickeys
In these new putt putt vehicles.
PS: I do remember being able to do a program Chang to stop the seat belt chime ; the users guide was wrong so I called the factory ( pull this push that, turn the lights on and off, and run around the rig three time while pulling my pubic hair out but it worked. It was a wast of hair cause now I wear the seat belt all the time.


My new family SUV has all the new do hickeys unfortunately. Though it’s a hybrid which is coming in handy with the current gas prices. It has the push button start and is usually silent when parked so I sometimes forget to turn it off but when I do it chimes loudly and annoyingly till I get back in.

@Nathan57 I just don’t understand the reasoning behind car running and windows down. I could sort of understand windows up and AC running if it was hot though it wasn’t and I wouldn’t leave my son in the car in the city regardless. Especially if I couldn’t have eyes on him and be able to immediately respond to a threat.


Fortunately my little town is still mostly stuck back in that century. Many of the parents here let their kids run around in front of the PO/General Store while they are in getting their mail and chatting with the neighbors.

I’m in and out and eyes on him except for the couple of seconds it takes me to dial in my box code. My son is safer in the car for one minute than running around the parking lot or even just getting out of the car to walk in with me if some distracted driver isn’t looking where they are going. It would also likely be easier for a kidnapper to snatch him out of my hands while he is getting into or out of the car than to smash the window (which would set off the alarm), get his seatbelt off and pull him out. He is taking martial arts and is pretty good at kicking and screaming:) And do all of that before I (and probably a couple of other residents) would be out the door and all over them. Not to mention they would have a hard time even noticing he was in the vehicle through the dark tinted windows.

We are also at high altitude so heat is rarely an issue and certainly not for one minute even on the fairly rare hot day up here. AZ does not have a law against leaving kids in cars. Though I hope parents down in the incredibly hot desert would be arrested for child endangerment if they left their kid in a car for any more than the briefest of periods.

When it comes to my son I am going to do what I know is safest and not put him at extra risk just because a passing busy body might think their opinion is better reasoned and more thought through than mine.


So tired of this. Congress shouldn’t Be full time. Give them four weeks a year to get something done, and make them have civilian jobs and earn income like the rest of us the remaining weeks of the year.


That’s one that is not congress but is individual state legislators. I agree. Kalifornicadia, when I first decided to stay here in 1959, had a part time legislature. It was only after the legislature became full time, which I opposed on the ballot, that it started its slide into a socialistic dictatorship.


Talking about all the bells and whistles available in cars today and the shortage of chips holding up production. I wonder how a car would sell that was just a basic car? The only standard items would power steering, AC, radio, power brakes.

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I actually prefer basic. A lot less things to go wrong over time and I usually keep my vehicles for a long time. You might still be able to get fairly basic in some small entry level sedans but they are still likely going to have computer chips for at least the engine.

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A lot of what the computer chips/semi conductors provide these days are safety features. And not just safety features to protect the drivers (95% of whom seem to believe they are far superior drivers compared to the majority) but also safety features that protect other drivers and pedestrians as well. Despite many people being so dang sure they are infallible, things like cruise control, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, blind spot sensors, backup sensors, backup cameras (you can’t see through metal after all), etc, do save lives.

And I don’t think we want to reduce those things, they are part of why the fatalities per mile driven have been going down steadily for decades.

Kind of like how the number of guns owned privately has been going up, and carry permits and shall issue were going up for years while crime was going down…vehicles have been getting more complicated and fancy with more computer chips and safety features and untold thousands/tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands? of lives have been saved as the fatalities per mile driven continue to drop

And a lot of other tech/chip stuff is to connect phones to the car so you can talk/call/text hands free which is a big safety feature for vehicles to have these days also.

That said we could probably save some chips without comfort items like heated seats, heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control…but those sure are nice to have


I mostly agree but all this tech is not infallible either. My new vehicle’s safety features have almost gotten me into a couple of accidents.

When the cruise control is on and the vehicle in front of me turns onto an exit and slows my vehicle sometimes slows me down dramatically causing the vehicle behind to almost hit me. It also won’t let me shift from drive to reverse, or vis versa, unless my vehicle is at a complete stop. So if I shift a quarter second too soon while trying to do a quick turn to get out of someone’s way and then hit the gas the car will go in the opposite direction I am expecting it to.

There are also times when an odd shaped vehicle slowing down in front of me doesn’t register and I have to take over before the “smart” cruise control drives me too close to it. I’m sure that overall these features make people safer. Especially in todays distracted and unobservant world. But I think they are a ways off from being completely reliable and also have the effect of making people pay even less attention to what is happening on the road around them.

Expecting a driver who has been lulled into a false sense of security to suddenly be able to take over and respond to a sudden situation where the computer gets confused is a recipe for disaster.


If it is a recipe for disaster, why are there fewer accidents and fewer fatalities per mile driven, every year?

Honestly this sounds like the same hand wringing “letting people carry guns is a recipe for disaster” nonesense the control advocates spew every time a state loosens restrictions.

We know it’s a net improvement, real world, actual reality, because it’s not theory, it’s live, with years of/decades of history

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It sounds like you are the one making strong arguments advocating for control. Clearly we can’t trust human drivers so no one should be allowed to drive a car that does not have a computer to override human decisions.

I am sure that overall the technology is saving lives. Especially when so few people seem to have solid awareness of what is going on around them these days. But this tech is still in its infancy. These safety features can only handle situations their programmers think to program into them. And sometimes the options they do program in don’t make sense in the real world. When faced with novel situation even just slightly outside their programming they can epically fail. Sometimes in circumstances where a 16 year old with their learners permit could come up with the obvious right choice.

With more and more people relying on these automated safety features there are going to be less and less people with the knowledge, skills and awareness to react when the computer beeps at them with a last second warning saying I don’t know what to do you take the wheel.

I use most of the non annoying somewhat reliable safety features on my new vehicle. But I don’t trust them completely and notice that when I do start trusting them my awareness starts to go down. I also wish there was an emergency button to quickly turn them off when I recognize a situation where I know the vehicle is going to do the opposite of what I need to do. So far these features have gotten me in more trouble than they have gotten me out of.

I would add putting too much faith in new technology to keep your family safe as a potential protector fail. Im not going to be the first one in line for the smart gun that won’t let me pull the trigger if it decides I’m not facing an imminent enough threat.


No…what I am clearly saying is that things like blind spot monitoring, cruise control, adaptive cruise, and emergency braking do save lives…and that despite almost everybody thinking they are infallible, these things DO increase safety.

If you consider a system that makes your brakes more reactive when it senses an imminent collision to be “control”, well, good luck with that

Again, these things have been around in the real world for enough miles over enough years we don’t have to predict blood running in the streets from the epic fail of people relying on technology. It works. We already know this. It is safer.

You may not like that extra safety and may not think it’s worth driving a vehicle that might brake for you before an imminent collision so that you hit with less force, but, it DOES work and it IS a net positive.

Give it a few years and this argument will be about as well received as “seat belts cost more lives than they save” that people used to say

You are kinder than me…I would have called the police (actually, I have done so under similar circumstances.

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I am not against these features. I am mostly against people viewing them as a substitute for awareness, anticipation and good driving skills.

And they may be a net positive but that won’t help you when you get into a situation where the car insists on doing something you need it not to do. Like breaking when you need to accelerate and swerve in order to avoid becoming part of a multi care pileup. Or in a potential self defense situation where you need to hit a car blocking your escape route or hit a person shooting at you. Yes these events are rare but the potential for rare bad events are why we carry defensive firearms.

I find the auto cruise control to be rather convenient. Though it does affect my situational awareness because my subconscious mind realizes it does not have to pay as much attention to keep from running into things. And in situations with the potential to get sketchy it more often than not reacts much later than it should and/or too abruptly.

I would feel much better about these features if the tech was more mature and there was an emergency button that deactivated them for a couple of minutes when you need to do something the car doesn’t want you to.

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People don’t have those as a substitute for awareness any more than people carry a gun so they can run their mouth

What do you try to do that they car won’t allow? I’ve never had that happen that I recall

Perhaps not consciously but I have seen plenty of people with very little awareness driving down the road. They are overly relying on those features whether they realize it or not.