I'm glad to hear that all of you are equally as outraged by this, because I was starting to wonder if maybe I was insane to think that all of this policing was getting out of hand. Under these laws, it would be illegal to leave kids strapped into the car while you run back into your house, pay for gas at the pump, put your cart back in the cart corral, walk your child to the front door of the school. This can't possibly be right. Shouldn't we should reserve our efforts for those people who leave their children in the car while they go shopping at the mall or go grab a drink at a bar? Sheesh.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, there is no official "can't leave your kid in your car" law in Massachusetts, but an officer has the power to charge you under existing Child Endangerment statutes if he or she feels that you are endangering your child, and that includes leaving a child unattended in the car. He scoffed at a couple of my examples, and said that we should use "common sense" when leaving children.
It's funny, though, because he stressed that younger children shouldn't be left alone, but I feel much safer leaving Gabe and Josie because neither one of them can move from their car seats. I don't have to worry about Gabe releasing the emergency brake or putting the car into drive. I'll worry more when he can get loose in the car and climb around.
The truth is that I'll be reconsidering what I do before I do it out of fear that a nosy neighbor might call the police on me. Let's hope they have enough to worry about without paying attention to my children.