Four Nine is the Magic Number

Many years ago, James and I were watching the news and the commentator was talking about the new Ministry of Transportation rules here in Canada for children sitting in the front seat. “Children must be four feet nine and over to sit in the front seat.” The commentator went on to inform listeners that anyone who did not comply with the new rules would be slapped with an expensive fine. With new technologies and powerful air bags, it was obvious that the Ministry wanted to protect children. At the time, my height was (and still is) four feet nine inches tall (which I’m told is the average height of a ten year old).

I turned to my husband and said, “How do they expect me to drive from the back seat?” We laughed about it, then I realized, “Uh-oh. Maybe I’m not allowed to drive.” A quick call to the Ministry confirmed that it would not be against the law if I continued to drive, nor would I be given any fine. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Later, there was an ad campaign in the United States (see photo) saying that kids needed to be four feet nine or taller in order to be out of a booster seat. So when I saw this particular photo, I laughed out loud. Of course, I think it’s pretty neat that my height is a magic number.

It isn’t, of course, the magic number when I’m in the grocery store or a department store. Usually, at least once a week, it’s necessary for me to ask a kind tall person to reach something on a high shelf. Other than unreachable groceries, however, I enjoy being short, especially now that I’m older. Next Thursday, I’ll be sharing a few advantages of being short.

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 thoughts on “Four Nine is the Magic Number

  1. Ellie,
    There are times when I wish I was short. Than I wouldn’t get asked hows the weather up there. I would reply to something like how is it around my knees. So you see Ellie we both get it being short or tall. LOL

  2. Pingback: Sunday Snippets: a Catholic Carnival September 4 « Plot Line and Sinker

  3. These stupid safety regs make me so irritated. We have the most ridiculous # of seats that are always having to be moved from here to there. I put up with it because it’s the law, but it chafes! My daughter, who is 4 years old and still isnt’ consistently over 30 pounds, will likely never cross that magic 4’9 number, either. I worry about whether we’ll get in trouble for having her in a booster seat at almost 5 years old when she’s not technically in the weight range….but I mean, really, how long can you force a child to wear a 5-point????

  4. I agree that the safety regs can be irritating, Kathleen, but I also recognize they’re trying to protect children (and they’re trying to protect themselves re: lawsuits). As we know, children come in all shapes and sizes. When I first saw this photo, I imagined myself as a teenager nowadays and pictured myself bringing my booster seat with me as I traveled in my friends’ cars. Although I have always been one to try to follow the rules, if this rule existed back when I was a teenager, I would definitely have rebelled and NOT have traveled in a booster seat!

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