One frivolous road based topic has crossed my mind multiple times when driving along the motorway. Its confusing tendrils drawing my mind away from my mild irritation at the white van occupying the passing lane of the motorway whilst driving a tepid 50mph. Seriously, just move to the middle lane!
The topic (as the title suggests) is the ‘Baby on Board’ sign. It first reared its nasty little head in North America during the 80’s. The signs exploded into motorway stop shops like herpes exploded onto the genitals of the Reagan’s, golden generation.
And through all this I must question, “Who is the ‘Baby on Board’ sign helping?” The sign cannot protect its owner from accidental collisions as it can only be seen from up close. Any car travelling at fast speeds will be occupying the same space as the child’s torso by the time they realise what was written. I propose that the only people put off by such a sign are serial killers who find infanticide decidedly profane. Their premeditated fun put on hold as they can’t bare the thought of Ronald Junior taking a bumper to the face. This is a small target market for an object which reduces the vision out of the car back window.
Perhaps the drivers, in a sense of snarky retaliation want to remind the lorry that crushes their fiat what a nob they are and what innocence has been lost. If so, I propose that ‘Several Babies and Two Kittens on Board’ would make a superior sign.
As much as the existence of such a symbol may annoy me, if the sign is merely a symbol of self congratulation from a weary mother having gone through the daunting process of childbirth, then I withdraw my complaint. I still have my “thanks for participating” medal from the primary school tug of war contest where I managed to burn my hands. I clearly know your pain.
Surprisingly, the ‘Baby on Board’ sign has wider ranging effects. A survey commissioned by Car Leasing Broker, Flexed.co.uk, found that only 1% of parents took down the ‘Baby on Board’ signs when their child was no longer in the car. This has no doubt left a lot of budding pyschopaths (who abhor infanticide) feeling tricked or misled. Emergency service workers are left in a state of confusion, searching for Shroedinger’s Infant as other civilians bleed out.
There have been others worrying about the effects of the sign. In fact a nurse told Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids blog that they can decapitate your infant. The author of said blog ridiculed the remark and she’s probably correct. The speed necessary for such an event would be 69740MPH. Yes, I did the maths:
530 newtons is required to remove the human head from the body.
Force X Time = Momentum
Mass X velocity = Momentum
Force X Time = Mass X Velocity
530N X 1s = 0.017kg X V
Therefore the velocity must be 31176.47 M Per Second or 69740 MPH.
So, your child should be safe from decapitation unless the car is falling to earth from outer orbit and has reached its terminal velocity. Plastic decapitation might actually be the preferable option at that point.
According to confused.com 46 per cent of drivers believe the ‘Baby on Board’ sign obscures vision but there is no legislation currently banning their usage. If you should see fit to have me elected as emperor of the world I will see them elminated along with those putting them up. Such would be my electoral mandate.