Posted by: monsonmadness | February 24, 2012

Police encounter

Every day as I drive around the island, I see children being transported like this in the back of a pick up truck. When we moved here and wanted to bring our 8 seater mini van, we were told that we should just get a pick up truck here and throw the kids in the back, that we didn’t need 8 seats at all. I asked if the police allowed them to ride that way and I was told yes, not a problem, everyone does it. Well, they do, and it’s not a problem, especially when you’re only driving 15-25 mph. I have never seen a car accident in the 9 months we’ve been here. Women even drive cars with infants in their laps, no-one uses car seats.

Well, on Monday there was no school so we decided to take our friends to the beach. There were 11 of us altogether, so we put the infant in the infant car seat, my two toddlers in their car seats, Daniel in his booster, and the 4 adults in our seat belts. That left three children ages 6-9 sitting on the floor in the back. Much safer than being loose in the back of a pick up truck don’t you think? Apparently not! As we approached the beach, Benjamin saw his best friend’s car there and got excited and stood up in the back seat. Cue the sirens and the stern female policer office determined to ticket those irresponsible palagis.

If we were in the States, I wouldn’t mind paying the ticket, we know the rules, and we should follow them or pay the consequences, but I am ticked that there is a double standard here. It bothers me that we got a ticket for all of our children being inside the vehicle when all the Samoan kids are allowed in the back of a pick up truck, totally unsecured. Did I mention that the school buses here are loaded with about 70 children who all hang out of the windows in the most unsafe manner possible? Oh well, it wasn’t too expensive, and my friend who was watching all of this from the beach got a good old laugh!

Fa’a Samoa. (It’s the Samoan way)



  1. That is frustrating. A similar thing happened to us when Jared was little. We were at a store and didn’t find what we were looking for, so we went across the street to another store. We always buckle our kids up, but that day, we didn’t, because we were just going across the street. Jared stood up and turned around to say something to Kaitlin, and a police officer happened to be right there.

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