Odessa Parent Concerned After Seeing Infant Riding in Front Seat - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Odessa Parent Concerned After Seeing Infant Riding in Front Seat, Police Say It's Legal

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Shocking video of a baby riding shotgun has some residents asking, "Is this legal?"

An Odessa father was driving down Interstate 20 when he spotted what appeared to be a baby in a car seat in the front of a suburban.

Police say, as long as the air bag is turned off, what the father saw is legal.

"I just saw that car seat and I was like, OK? So, I sped up a little bit so I could get a better picture of it and I was just like OK, I need to get a video just to make sure and let everybody know and be aware," said Concerned resident, Raleigh Harpole.

In two weeks, Raleigh Harpole will welcome his first child.

"Honestly, it makes me scared for the children. They need to be safe," he said.

After capturing this sight on video, Harpole wants to alert others of any potential dangers if a child isn't secured properly in the car.

"I've seen a couple of things, where if its car seat is facing forward, it's supposed to be rear faced. That's just a common error. I've never seen [the car seat] in the front seat before," said Harpole.

Odessa Police say a child of any age is allowed in the front seat but for infants and toddlers it's not recommended.

"It's still important that infants and toddlers are properly secured because it could mean the difference between life and death," said Public Information Officer for the Odessa Police Department, Cpl. Steve LeSueur.

If the driver is caught with children not secured properly, they could face a fine of over $250.

If you'd like to verify your child is secured safely in their car seat, the Odessa Fire Department can help you out for free. Just call 432-257-0521. You can also visit www.seatcheck.org.

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