SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Idiot on Board?  


August 08, 2011

I was driving home the other day when an SUV blew by me like I was standing still.  I know that doesn’t sound unusual, but the car had one of those yellow “Baby on Board” stickers on the tailgate.  I thought the baby was driving.

I followed the SUV at a safe distance because it was driving quite erratically, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding up and slowing down, and being generally unsafe.  I was directly behind the car when the driver made a right-on-red without checking for oncoming traffic.  No, the baby wasn’t driving, an idiot was.

I’ve often wondered what those little yellow stickers mean, and more importantly, how was I supposed to react to them?  I have stickers on my truck.  They don’t provide any information on what may be in there with me.  And that is particularly true ever since I removed the National Rifle Association sticker from my rear window.  I learned that those NRA stickers are an open invitation for someone to break into your vehicle.  It says, “There’s a gun in this car, come and get it!”

Bumper Stickers

Bumper Stickers
By Daryl Cagle,
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

I see no useful purpose for Baby-on-Board stickers other than allowing drivers who display them to advertise something only they care about.  Think about it: Drivers who are DUI or DWT (driving while texting) can’t see the stickers, and there’s a good chance that a lot of young drivers today might not be able to read them.  (Note to teachers: That was a joke; my wife and daughter are ex-teachers.)

Another problem with Baby-on-Board stickers is you have to get very close to read them.  And that means you have to tailgate.  Tailgating can lead to a rear-end collision, which certainly isn’t good for the baby on board.

The point is: I don’t change my driving habits because I see a sticker that says “Baby on Board” or “Show Dogs on Board.”  Now if the car had a sticker saying “Explosives on Board” I might behave a little differently.

jpg Driving While Texting

Driving While Texting
Jeff Parker, Florida Today
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

The United States Department of Transportation currently has 9 categories of hazardous materials.  Category 1 is explosives, and it has six subcategories.  Nitroglycerin is in category 1.1.  If you see that on a vehicle, stay very, very far away.  Category 1.1 also includes ammonium nitrate, the farmer’s and domestic terrorist’s favorite compound, but for totally different reasons.  But the real mystery is the four-digit number inside the placard, which can be anywhere from 1001 (acetylene) to 9279 (hydrogen gas).  I haven’t found the number for dimethyldiethyldeathylene yet, but I know if you say the word three times it can kill you.

I think we need a similar system for the “Baby On Board” stickers.  We could have a code that would tell you if it’s a boy or a girl, the month and year it was born, its race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, home state, favorite college, favorite sports team, whether its parents are married, divorced, or living together, how many siblings it has, and whether it’s registered as Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent. You get my drift; the possibilities are limitless; almost as good as bar-coding babies when they’re born.  The stickers could then provide a lot more useful information to other drivers.  It would work in my case.  Whenever I see a car with an Obama/Biden sticker on it, (which for some reason is becoming rare these days) I always want to give them half a peace sign in acknowledgement.  However, being a Southern Gentleman, I don’t.

In closing, my advice is: If you see a car with a “Baby on Board” sticker driving unsafely, first, check to see if the baby is driving; if it’s not, assume an idiot is.



©2011 Bob Ciminel has been in the commercial nuclear industry for the past 40 years, working in radiation protection, operations, training and quality assurance.  He has licensed or certified as a Senior Reactor Operator at five commercial nuclear plants.  Bob lives in Roswell, Georgia.

Contact Bob Ciminel:




E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2011
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.