Should Minors Be Banned By Law from Having a Cellphone?

teenager cell phone ban

Technology has become such an integral part of everyone’s day to day lives. Most people use some form of smart technology every single day of their life from computers to cellphones. Most adults are well aware of how amazing and helpful this kind of technology is after spending their childhoods without it. This causes many adults to say the age old adage: Kids today don’t know how good they’ve got it.

In a way, this is very true. Kids today don’t have to go to libraries and rent books to write a paper thanks to the internet. They don’t have to go to the local video rental store to pick out a movie to watch. They don’t even have to rewind their movies when they’re done! The internet also makes it possible for kids to constantly stay connected with their friends and peers. Sadly, this last benefit does seem to be a bit problematic.

Social media can be nice, but it can also be addicting and detrimental to a person’s mental health. This is especially true for kids, which is why one lawmaker in Vermont has proposed a change how minors use cellphones.

The Problem with Cellphones

Cellphones grant a person access to the internet, and therefore the world, whenever they want it. This can be very beneficial in some instances and troublesome in others. For instance, cellphones can be very distracting while driving. If a driver looks at a phone while behind the wheel, they are paying less attention to the road in front of them. This makes it more likely for them to cause an accident with deadly consequences. This is especially true for teens who are more easily distracted.

Another issue with cellphones is that not only do they give a person constant access to the world, they also give the world constant access to the person. Thanks to social media and phone notifications, it can be hard for a person to get away from some people for a while without abandoning the phone altogether for a few hours. This is hard enough for an adult to do, since social media is addicting. Just think of how hard it is for kids to put down their phones.

When kids don’t put down their phones, they can get bombarded by messages from friends and peers at school. Sometimes, these messages aren’t nice or friendly at all. Sadly, there have been many cases where bullying at school has followed a child home through their phone and pushed that kid to the brink where they make a decision they can never come back from.

A Vermont Senator’s Response

In an effort to reduce teen driving accidents and suicides caused by cellphone usage, one Vermont lawmaker, Senator John Rodgers, has introduced a bill that would restrict cellphone usage amongst minors. The bill states that people under the age of 21 are not mature enough to own guns, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol so they are also not mature enough to own and use cellphones.

The major talking point about this bill is how online bullying through social media, which can be accessed on cellphones, can lead to suicide. Apparently, in Vermont the legislature has recently been talking about suicide prevention and how best to protect and provide aide to people who need it.

Sen. Rodgers stated that he doesn’t expect the bill to get passed and that he probably wouldn’t vote for it himself. As a supporter of the Second Amendment, he seems to have presented the bill more as a way of showing how cellphones can be more dangerous than guns.

Should Minors Have Cellphones?

It is hard to deny how addicting cellphones can be. Even as adults who might have grown up without cellphones or social media, it can sometimes be hard to log out or put the device down. The sad thing is that adults have more self-control than minors, and so what is addicting for us is very addicting for minors. This is why kids are often glued to their phones.

This kind of behavior can be problematic for minors by exposing them to a whole lot of negative things that they may not be ready to deal with on their own. This is why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing online. They also need to make sure that their kids know that they can always come and talk to them about anything. Failing to do so could have disastrous results that no parent should ever have to deal with.

What do you think of this proposed bill in Vermont? Is it a good idea to prevent minors, anyone under 21, from having a cellphone, or is it a terrible and impractical one? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

california road rage laws

How Dangerous Is Road Rage?

california road rage laws

Ask anyone who has ever driven a car before, and they will likely tell you that they’ve experienced road rage before. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know what road rage is. For those unaware, road rage is a driver’s uncontrolled anger that is usually caused by another motorist’s acts and results in aggressive or violent behavior. So, if a driver cuts off another driver, who then begins cursing and flipping off the other driver that is an act of road rage.

Since every driver experiences some level of road rage from time to time, one might expect that it isn’t that big of a deal. However, that is not the case. Road rage is dangerous. When people get angry, especially that angry, they don’t always think straight and can make very bad decisions. There are far too many news stories of people getting hurt or even killed due to road rage.

Road Rage Can Kill

In 2016, AAA conducted a survey of American drivers that found that 80% of drivers experienced significant anger, frustration, or road rage while driving. That is a whole lot of people getting upset behind the wheel. If a person were to look at California Highway Patrol (CHP) 2018 statistics, they would find that around two thirds of all fatal car accidents in Southern California were caused by road rage incidents.

Recently, two separate driving incidents claimed four lives. In one incident, a woman was run over by her car. In another, a car full of teens crashed into a tree, killing three of the passengers. In both incidents, road rage is blamed for the accident.

In the first accident, a female driver and her passenger accidentally bumped into a motorcycle driver. The two vehicles pulled over near an apartment complex where one of the women exited the car and began arguing with the motorcyclist. As the driver began to drive away, she somehow fell out of the car and was pinned between her car and a tree, she died of her injuries. The passenger than fled the scene with the vehicle and was later arrested for hit and run.

In the other incident, a man has been charged with homicide after he intentionally rammed his car into another vehicle. The act forced the second vehicle off of the road and into a tree. The 6 teenage passengers in the vehicle were trapped in the car until emergency officials arrived. 3 of the teens died to injuries sustained in the accident. The man fled the scene and was later arrested with hit and run charges, which were eventually changed to homicide. It is unclear why he rammed the vehicle off the road, but officials suspect road rage.

What Can Road Rage Get You Charged With

Road rage itself is not a crime. After all, a person can’t be prohibited from getting mad while driving. However, what is illegal is acting on that anger and trying to hurt other people. There are a few different ways that a person can get into trouble with the law if they give into road rage.

  • Reckless driving: California Vehicle Code (VC) 23103 makes it illegal for a person to drive a vehicle on a highway with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. If a drivers swerves in a threatening manner, or even speeds to try to block someone else, they are driving recklessly because of road rage.
  • Assault: California Penal Code (PC) 240 makes it illegal for a person threaten to cause great bodily harm to another individual. The person doesn’t actually have to attack another individual to be guilty of assault, they just have to threaten to do so. This can occur if a person gets out of their vehicle and starts threatening another driver.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon: As one can guess, this is similar to assault, but the person makes the threats while brandishing a deadly weapon. For those unaware, a car is considered a deadly weapon here in California. This means threatening to run someone over with a car is illegal under PC 245. Pulling out a gun is illegal under this law, and PC 417, which prohibits a person from brandishing a firearm.
  • Battery: This occurs when a person actually attacks someone. This is made illegal under PC 242. This can occur when a person actually rams their car into another vehicle, or when they get into a physical fight with another driver.
  • Hit and Run: Under VC 20001 and VC 20002, a hit and run occurs whenever a vehicle damages property or injures a person and the driver then flees the scene instead of sticking around and administering aid. So if a person rams their car into another vehicle and then flees the scene, they could face hit and run charges, amongst other things.

Don’t Give In to Road Rage

Everyone gets a little frustrated when they are driving from time to time. That is normal. However, when a person gets frustrated, they should not act out because of that anger. Instead, they should remain calm and let the incident go. If they don’t, the anger can get worse until the person does something that they might regret later.

If you want to check out some tips on how to avoid or manage road rage, click here.

Remember, everyone driving on the road is trying to get somewhere, and they want to get their safely. Instead of getting angry and making things worse, try to forgive and be more considerate while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Doing so could help save lives.

Do you have any tips for how to deal with road rage? If so, share them in the comments down below and help other drivers keep a level head behind the wheel.

can you leave a dog in cold car san bernardino bail bonds

Is It Legal to Leave a Pet Alone in a Cold Car?

can you leave a dog in cold car san bernardino bail bonds

Every time summer rolls around, you begin to see articles all over about the dangers of leaving pets and children unattended in vehicles. In the hot weather, the temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly become unbearable and even deadly. Some people still fail to recognize this fact.

On the other side of the coin, is the act of leaving pets alone in cars in cold weather. Being exposed to cold temperatures can be just as dangerous and deadly as being exposed to hot temperatures. This is why experts warn against leaving animals unattended in cars in cold weather too.

Cold Weather Is Dangerous Too

In hot weather, the inside temperatures in a car can drastically increase to dangerous levels. However, unlike with hot weather, cold temperatures inside a car cannot drastically decrease. Still this doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous. In cold weather, car temperatures will simply lower until they match outside temperatures, which can be below freezing. It is these kinds of conditions that pet owners need to consider.

On cold days, there can be different factors that play into how warm or cold the interior of a car can become. If the weather is cold, but the sun is out, the interior temperatures can be comfortable. In some cases, they could even become dangerous for animals. However, if the weather is overcast and it is raining or snowing, then the interior of the car will likely become too cold for anyone, even pets.

Another aspect to consider is that even though most pets have fur, this does not make it impossible for them to get cold. Fur is essentially a permanent jacket that animals have to wear. It makes them more resistant to the cold, but it does eventually get too cold for them just like how even with a jacket, cold weather can become too much to deal with for people.

On top of this is the fact that not all fur is the same. Some fur is better suited for cold weather, like the fur on huskies. Meanwhile, other breeds of dogs like Chihuahuas are more suited for warmer environments.

Essentially, a pet owner needs to be aware of both the weather outside and what their pet can handle. If they don’t, they could end up risking their pet’s health and safety. Here in California, that can get a person into some trouble.

Penal Code 597.7

Here in California, Penal Code (PC) 597.7 makes it a crime for a person to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle if doing so threatens the health or safety of the animal. While this law is primarily concerned with leaving animals in hot cars, it also applies to animals left in cold cars as well. This is due to the fact that it refers to leaving animals in conditions that could cause harm.

If a person is convicted of this crime, they will face the following depending on the circumstances. If it is a first time offense and no animal suffered any great bodily injuries, then the person faces a fine of $100 per animal. If an animal did suffer a great bodily injury, then the person faces a fine up to $500 and a jail sentence of 6 months.

Any subsequent offenses of this crime results in a $500 fine and a 6 month jail stay regardless of whether or not any animals suffered any great bodily injuries.

In addition, a person needs to consider that here in California, law enforcement officers who see an animal suffering in a vehicle are allowed to do whatever they need to in order to rescue the animal. This means that on top of the fines and jail time, the person could be looking at some repair bills as well.

Leave the Critter at Home

Most pet owners adore and cherish their furry companions. That is why they are often brought everywhere. Unfortunately, leaving pets alone in cars isn’t always safe. Pet owners need to be aware of the weather, whether it is too hot or too cold, before leaving a pet alone. As much as the animal may be loved, sometimes it is best for it to be left at home in a more climate controlled environment.

What do you think of California’s law on leaving pets unattended in cars? Did you realize that it applied to both hot and cold conditions? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

animal cruelty laws in california

Animal Abuse Now Illegal at the Federal Level

animal cruelty laws in california

Winter hasn’t even officially arrived yet and already California is beginning to see winter weather. This means that all pet owners should get ready to really start taking care of their pets this winter. This is especially true for pets who spend a lot of time outdoors. Failing to do so can get a person into trouble for animal abuse here in California.

On top of that, a new law has been signed into effect at the federal level surrounding animal abuse. This means that if a person abuses an animal, they can face charges at both the state and federal level.

The PACT Act

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a federal law that prevents animal cruelty here in the United States until recently. The only thing that came close was the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act that was signed into law back in 2010. That law only made it a crime to abuse an animal if the person filmed it. This law came about in response to a horrible internet trend where small animals were crushed by people stepping on them and then the videos were uploaded online.

This law had an unfortunate loophole that meant people who abused animals but didn’t film the act would not get into trouble, at least at the federal level. Luckily, many states have their own laws about animal abuse that likely covered the issue.

However, this has all changed thanks to a new law recently signed into effect. The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was passed through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Under this new federal law, it is now illegal for a person to purposefully burn, crush, drown, suffocate, impale, or perform any other violent act that causes serious bodily injury to an animal.

If a person is caught breaking this law, they can face federal felony charges, fines, and up to 7 years in prison.

Animal Abuse in California

Here in California, animal abuse is outlawed by Penal Code (PC) 597. PC 597 is what is known as a wobbler offense, this means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record.

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

When charged as a felony, a person faces:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

Some additional consequences for both levels of the charges can include:

  • Having the animal permanently removed from the abuser’s care.
  • Paying for the housing costs of the animal during the trial.
  • Completing counseling as a part of probation.
  • An extra year added to the sentence if the abuse involved a deadly weapon.

Take Care of Animals

Animals are living creatures just like humans and they deserve the same care and respect as people. They also deserve the same protections, which is what this new federal law provides. Now, no matter where a person is in the United States, if they abuse an animal, they will face federal charges.

This law comes at a good time of year. With all of the cold weather of winter, pet owners need to take the proper precautions to keep their animal healthy and safe. Failing to do so can get them into legal trouble here in California, and maybe even at the federal level as well.

What do you think of the country’s new animal abuse law? Is it about time, or did we really need this law at all? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Thanksgiving has come and gone and that means everyone can officially begin their Christmas preparations. While this means it is time for a whole lot of decorating, it also means it is time to get the final bits of Christmas shopping done.

While this should be a fun and happy time, there are unfortunately people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers. Anyone looking to do a bit of shopping this holiday season needs to be careful in order to avoid becoming a victim of a crime so close to Christmas.

Shopping Safety Tips

While most people love this time of year for all sorts of reason from the weather to getting to spend time with family, thieves have different reasons for enjoying the holiday rush. They love the crowded stores and malls because that provides them with plenty of targets and enough chaos to cover their tracks. That is in addition to the shorter days which provide a lot of darkness for them to lurk in. In order to become a more difficult target and avoid being robbed or attacked while shopping, try following these tips.

  • Always lock doors and roll up windows on cars before going into stores.
  • Avoid talking to strangers. Some con-artists work in groups, one distracts the target while the other strikes.
  • Be aware of surroundings as walking to cars. Thieves like to hide behind larger vehicles, or even under your car.
  • Don’t carry too many bags at once, as this makes a person vulnerable.
  • Don’t dress in fancy or attention grabbing clothes while shopping. This can grab a thief’s attention and attract them to you.
  • Have your keys in your hands and ready to unlock your car before leaving the store. This way there is no fumbling to pull them out at the car itself, which makes a person vulnerable.
  • Hide any presents or other expensive items in the trunk so that lurking thieves cannot see them in the car.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable walking to your car, especially at night, ask a security guard or other store employee for an escort.
  • Park in safe areas, preferably under street lights to increase visibility at night. Also try parking close to the storefront to reduce the amount of time spent walking to a car. Avoid parking next to large trucks and vans.
  • Stay alert to what is going on around you.
  • When shopping in the evening or night, always bring a companion with you. There is safety in numbers.
  • Women should not carry purses with them, as these are easier targets for pickpockets. Try to stick to carrying only a single credit/debit card while shopping. This way, no cash can be stolen and only one card has to be canceled if taken.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

With advances in technology, online shopping has become a very large part of the holiday experience. Since online shopping has become so huge, crooks have begun to take advantage of it. In order to avoid falling victim to these people, follow these tips:

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi in general, but never use it when shopping or banking online.
  • Before filling out private information on an online form, investigate the company/website to ensure that it is trustworthy.
  • If you have fallen victim to an online scam, be sure to close the associated credit card immediately.
  • Learn to spot and avoid email and social media scams, which become more prominent this time of year.
  • Never give out social security numbers online. No online store will ever need that information.
  • Never click on links from unknown sources.
  • Only go to trusted websites by entering the address in the address bar. Avoid clicking links because scammers love to make fake links that lead to their own sites.
  • Only shop on trusted websites, preferably with “https” in front of the address. The “s” signifies that the website is secure, thus making it more trustworthy. Most modern browsers now display a padlock symbol in the address bar next to secure sites.

Don’t Fall Victim to Crooks

As Christmas draws nearer, more and more people go shopping for gifts for their loved ones. Unfortunately, there are thousands of crooks and other horrible people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers.

So long as a person follows the tips above, they should be able to reduce the chances of getting scammed or robbed this holiday season. Do you have any tips that didn’t make the list above? If so, share them in the comments down below and help out others.

california privacy laws

California’s Privacy Laws

california privacy laws

Everybody has a right to privacy, especially here in California. No one wants to deal with someone spying on them in private situations. That is why the state of California has a few different laws revolving around people’s right to privacy.

According to state law, there are certain areas where a person should be able to expect and receive privacy. Anyone who breaks that privacy can face legal consequences. California residents should be aware of these laws so that they don’t end up accidentally breaking them.

Laws about Recording People in California

California Penal Code (PC) 647 is the state’s disorderly conduct law. It covers all sorts of things from prostitution, aggressive begging, and invasion of privacy. Specifically, sections i and j of this law relate to privacy.

PC 647i refers to the act of peeping. Under this law, it is a crime for a person to linger, loiter, or prowl on someone’s private property and peek into the doors and windows of any inhabited structure. An example of this would be trespassing onto someone else’s property and then peeking into their home’s window to see if their home, or peeking into a bedroom to watch someone changing clothes.

PC 647j makes it a crime for any person to look into an area where a person would normally expect privacy. It doesn’t matter if a person uses their eyes, binoculars, a cellphone, or any other sort of device to look into the area. Areas where privacy is naturally expected include:

  • Bedrooms.
  • Bathrooms.
  • Changing rooms.
  • Tanning booths.
  • Any other room where one would reasonably expect privacy.

Examples of breaking this law would include recording someone in a bathroom or changing room, or even filming someone under their clothes.

Another law to consider when referring to privacy is California’s eavesdropping law, PC 632. California is considered a two-party consent state. This means that in order for a confidential conversation to be recorded, all parties involved need to give their consent. If a person records a private conversation without consent from everyone involved, they could face legal trouble.

Penalties of Invasion of Privacy

The penalties for invasion of privacy vary depending on which law was broken. For instance, both PC 647i & j fall under California’s disorderly conduct law. Both of these crimes are primarily charged as misdemeanors. This means they come with the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

However, if a person has been charged with an offense under PC 647j before, or the victim of the crime was under the age of 18, the charges increase to:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.

Meanwhile, PC 632 is known as a wobbler offense. This means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the accused’s criminal record. When charged as a misdemeanor, the person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,500.

Meanwhile, felony eavesdropping charges can earn a person:

  • Up to 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $2,500.

Don’t Record People in Private

In today’s modern world, where recording another person is so easily accomplished thanks to smart devices, knowing these laws is extra important. No one wants to end up in legal trouble for breaking a law they didn’t know about or understand. When it comes to recording people, whether it’s a conversation or a video, it is illegal to do so in situations where the recorded parties would normally expect privacy.

One key point to note is that law enforcement officers while on the job, are able to be recorded. This is due to the fact that they are civil employees and out in public where they would not normally expect privacy.

What do you think of California’s privacy laws surrounding recordings? Do you agree with them, or do you think they need to be modified? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

underage drinking laws

Can Minors Have Alcohol in California?

underage drinking laws

There are certain laws that everyone knows about, such as don’t drive over the speed limit, don’t steal things from other people, and anyone under 21 is not allowed to drink alcohol. However, while these laws are well known, a lot of people tend to ignore them, which is never a good idea.

Ignoring a law is a good way to get into trouble. One slip up could cause a person to be arrested or forced to pay a fine. This is especially true when it comes to laws surrounding minors and alcohol. Breaking a law is bad enough as an adult, abut as a minor it can lead to problems down the line.

Minors and Alcohol Laws in California

Here in the state of California, it is illegal for minors to consume alcohol under Business and Professions Code (BPC) 25658. Under this law, it is illegal to do the following:

  • Sell alcohol to a minor, anyone under the age of 21.
  • Buying alcohol as a minor is illegal.
  • It is a misdemeanor to give alcohol to a minor who then gets into a car accident for driving while drunk.
  • It is a misdemeanor to allow a minor to consume alcohol on business property regardless if the person knew the minor was under 21 or not.

BPC 25658 is just one of several state laws that restrict the usage of alcohol amongst minors. For instance, BPC 25662 makes it illegal for a minor to even be in possession of alcohol.

Under these two laws, a minor can never posses or consume alcohol, not even if their parent or legal guardian allows them to have the alcohol. While that particular instance may be okay in some states, it is illegal here in California. Minors can never have alcohol. This is further confirmed by DUI laws related to minors.

When it comes to driving while intoxicated, adults have to worry about having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. Minors get into trouble if they have a BAC over 0.01%.

Penalties of Breaking These Laws

In most instances of minors with alcohol, both the minor and the adult that provided them with the alcohol will face consequences. The exact consequences that a person will face are dependent on which law was broken. In most instances, the person will face misdemeanor charges.

When a minor is caught with alcohol in their possession, under BPC 25662, they face misdemeanor charges. This includes:

  • A $250 fine for first time offenses. A $500 fine for subsequent offenses.
  • 24 -32 hours of community service, either at an alcohol/drug treatment center or a county coroner’s office.
  • Participation in a youth drunk driver program.
  • 1 year driver’s license suspension or a 1 year delay in acquiring a driver’s license.

Breaking BPC 25658, whether as a minor consuming alcohol or as an adult providing alcohol to a minor, is a misdemeanor offense. Someone accused of this crime faces:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

If a minor is caught driving while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.01%, they will face a 1 year suspension of their driver’s license under Vehicle Code (VC) 23136. This is the state’s zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving.

If a minor is caught driving with a BAC of 0.05% or greater, they will face consequences under VC 23140. This is the states underage DUI law. It comes with the following, infraction level consequences:

  • No jail time.
  • 1 year driver’s license suspension.
  • 3 months of mandatory alcohol education program.

If a minor has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, than they can be charged with regular DUI, which carries harsher consequences.

Don’t Give Minors Alcohol

Alcohol can be enjoyable, when consumed responsibly. Minors under the age of 21 are often not mature enough to handle alcohol. This can lead to them over consuming, and then putting themselves into dangerous or life-threatening situations, which is why they are prohibited from drinking. This is also why it is such a big deal for adults to give alcohol to minors.

With the holiday season starting up, there will be a lot more parties and a lot more alcohol around. If anyone has family visiting from other states where minors are allowed to consume alcohol when their parent or legal guardian permits it, inform them that California sees things differently.

What do you think of California’s take on minors and alcohol? Is the state taking the right precautions or does it need to loosen up a bit? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

back to school tips ontario bail bonds

Are You Ready for Your Kids to Go Back to School?

back to school tips

Summer is drawing to a close, and for many parents, this means that their child is going back to school soon. As far as parents as concerned, this is a great day. The kids will soon be out of their parents’ hair and preoccupied with their own daily studies. This can make a parent’s life just a little bit easier, which is always appreciated.

However, as calm as things can be when the kids are away, parents will always worry about their little ones. Parents are always concerned for their kids’ safety, even when they are a school. So while the new school year brings some peace and quiet, it does come with some extra worry too. Luckily, there are some things that parents can do to help their child stay safe at school.

Some Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year

A parent’s biggest goal is to ensure the health and safety of their child. This can be a bit difficult to do though when the child isn’t with the parent, like when the child is at school. Luckily, there are still things that a parent can do to keep their kid safe when they aren’t around.

One of the biggest aspects of school, is a child’s backpack. The simple device will hopefully hold everything that a student will need during their day at school. This means that choosing and properly packing a backpack is very important. Here are some backpack tips to consider this school year:

  • A full backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
  • Always use both straps to carry a back and evenly spread the weight across both shoulders.
  • Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and a padded back to ensure comfort and good weight distribution.
  • Use all of the compartments in the backpack to help spread out the weight within the pack itself.
  • If a backpack has a waist strap, use it.
  • Don’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, strangers could use that to their advantage.
  • Avoid roller backpacks as they can cause tripping hazards for other students.

When a child is walking, or biking to school, there are plenty of things that they should know. Somethings that parents should teach their kids include:

  • Never take shortcuts, especially through areas with low visibility. Kids should stick to parent approved routes in case the parent needs to find the child.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Wear bright colored clothes to be more visible to drivers.
  • Always wear a helmet while biking.
  • Use hand signals while riding a bike.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Don’t listen to music while biking.

A few extra tips include:

  • Reinforce Stranger Danger rules.
  • Don’t pack lunches and snacks that can spoil.
  • Talk to kids about bullying.

Give Kids a Brighter Future

As a parent, it can be hard to not worry about kids when they aren’t around. If a parent follows the tips listed above, they can help keep their child safe this school year. That is all any parent wants. By keeping their kids safe, their children will be able to do well in school this year. This will, in turn, help set the kid up for a brighter future.

Do you have any school safety tips that aren’t on this list? If so, add them in the comments down below and help out other parents.

downed traffic light upland bail bonds

Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

downed traffic light

With all of the technology around us that helps keep the world running, it can be hard to imagine what things used to be like before that tech existed. How could people have lived without all of this amazing stuff? Well, every once in a while we get to find out. As amazing as all of this tech is, it isn’t indestructible, and can sometimes come crashing down.

Take for instance one of the most important bits of technology for drivers, especially those traveling through cities: Stoplights. These simple bits of tech may not seem like a big deal, but when they go down, they can cause quite a commotion.

Who Would Have Thought Traffic Lights Would Have Such an Impact

As drivers, everyone expects that everything will go their way. Cars will drive on the right side of the road, drivers will stay in their lanes, and use turn signals when needed. When something like this doesn’t work properly, such as a driver not signaling their turn or lane change, it can be frustrating.

What can be more frustrating, and even confusing for some, is when a traffic light goes down. Traffic lights can go down for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Power outage
  • Computer failure
  • Maintenance

When this occurs, all of the lights in the intersection will either blink the red light on and off, or they will go black entirely. This can cause a lot of confusion for drivers who were expecting the light to be working and telling them how to proceed through the intersection.

So, what are drivers supposed to do when they come across and intersection with stoplights that are not working?

How to Drive Through Downed Stoplights

The answer to that questions is actually very simple and straight forward. When stoplights go down, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection the same way they would one controlled by stop signs.

This means that drivers need to come to a full stop before entering the intersection. They should allow other drivers who reached the limit line before them to go first. So long as everyone is polite and takes their turn, things will move smoothly.

Some drivers assume that if the road they are on is a main road, and the other one a minor one, they on the main road do not have to stop. This is wrong. All cars in all directions have to stop before entering the intersection. Ironically, by stopping this keeps traffic moving in all directions.

Everyone has seen a working stoplight intersection before, and can reproduce it on a smaller, turn-based scale. For example, the traffic could proceed as follows, one car at a time per lane:

    1. Cars on the up and down road seeking to make a left can go first.

    2. Cars going straight on the up and down road go next.

    3. Cars making left turns on the right and left road go next.

    4. Cars going straight on the right and left roads go next.

    5. Repeat the process.

So long as everyone works together, things will run smoothly.

Just Take Turns

Dealing with a downed traffic light isn’t exactly fun. When people are driving, they expect everything to be working properly so that they can get to their destination on time. With all of the technology at our disposal, this should be easy, but sometimes, tech fails.

Something as small as a traffic light going down can greatly slow down a person’s commute. However, trying to rush through a down intersection only create more problems for everyone else. It is in everybody’s interest to work together and take turns.

Do you have another good example of when a small bit of tech goes down that had a bigger impact than you might have guessed? Share it in the comments down below.

child abuse vs discipline

Is it OK to Spank your Child in Public?

child abuse vs discipline

A parent’s job is not easy. Raising a child takes a lot of effort and time, and that is putting things mildly. Taking care of a child and raising him or her to be a functional adult is tough. It is even tougher when parents have to worry about whether or not what they are doing could get them into legal trouble.

This kind of thought is often brought up when it comes to punishing a child, especially corporal punishment. With all of the debating that surrounds this subject, many parents are left wondering where the line between punishment and abuse is drawn. They wonder if it is okay for them to spank their child in a public place for misbehaving, and fear that if they do, someone will report them to the authorities.

Child Abuse Is Harmful

Child abuse is not something to be taken lightly. This terrible crime occurs when a parent or caregiver causes injury, emotional harm, risk of harm, or death to a child, whether they intended to or not.

This abuse can come in all sorts of forms, from the obvious physical harm to other types of abuse, including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

Abuse like this can leave lasting impacts on a child well into adulthood. That is why people fight so hard to stop and prevent child abuse, and why it is illegal to abuse a child.

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse

Many adults nowadays grew up getting a spanking or two as a child. The spanking sent a very clear message to the child that that kind of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated. For some people, after getting just a few spankings, the threat alone of one would keep them in line from that point on.

However, nowadays this is a very controversial subject. There is a lot of debate amongst people on whether or not spanking a child is a form of child abuse. Here in the state of California, there is a somewhat clear line that separates corporal punishment from child abuse.
California Penal Code (PC) 273 covers many things relating to children, such as child endangerment and child abuse. The law makes it illegal to inflict and cruel or inhumane punishment on a minor under the age of 18. At first, this may sound like spanking would be illegal under this law, however that is not the case.

Spanking a child, with a bare hand or an object, is legal under California law so long as it falls within reasonable discipline.

This is often determined by two factors:

    1. Whether or not the punishment was warranted.
    2. Whether or not the punishment was considered excessive.

This means that a parent is allowed to spank their child, provided there was reason to do so and that they do not overdo the punishment.

What Are the Consequences if a Parent is Guilty of Child Abuse?

Here in California, PC 273 is a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. How the offense is charged is dependent on the facts of the incident in question.

When charged as a misdemeanor, PC 273 carries the following consequences:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $6,000.
  • Some combination of fine and jail time.

When charged as a felony, PC 273 consequences increase to:

  • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $6,000.
  • Some combination of fine and prison time.

Aside from the legal consequences, being convicted for child abuse will also brand the person in the eyes of society, which can negatively affect the person for years to come.

Know the Difference

The bottom line is that here in California, a parent is allowed to spank their child so long as the punishment fits the crime. If a parent overdoes the punishment, then it could be considered abuse.

If a person suspects that a child may be the victim of abuse, they should report it to the proper authorities. Here in California, this means reporting the incident or case to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The CDSS has a 24-hour emergency hotline for Child Protective Services for each individual county, the numbers of which can be found here. It can also be a good idea to make a report with the local police or sheriff’s department.

What do you think of California’s ruling on spankings and child abuse in general? Let us know in the comments down below.