Poisoned Britax car seat redefines safety standards – By Mr. MC

August 4th, 2011

Oh man, I wished I find this HealthyStuff.org website before I ordered my Britax Advocate 70 CS car seat, oh, should I call it the “Britax Advocate 70 CSP where P stands for POISONED” ??!!!

What should I do ? Return it back to Amazon, and restart the whole car seat selection and purchase process ? It’s like as if US Immigration restarted my US Citizenship application…

I know my daughter loves to lick that clip and belt of the car seat. On the clip, it has 1012ppm of Bromine, and 17ppm of Lead. None of these are good stuff!

By the way, Graco Comfort Sport has an overall rating of 0.2 (the safest), and it is around USD$200, about USD$100 cheaper than Britax Advocate 70 CS. I really have to re-define the term “safety” for a car seat. Safety does not only refer to vehicle collision, but it also refers to how much poisoned chemical it has been made up with.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Finally, I bought the Britax Advocate 70 CS baby car seat – By Mr. MC

August 2nd, 2011

So, I finally bought the Britax Advocate 70 CS car seat for my 10 months old and weight 21 pounds daughter. I ordered it from Amazon for $303 (no tax, and no shipping fee). I received it within a week. Then, I would have it installed properly by a certified PST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Standford, CA.

By the way, the technician recommended to seat rear-facing until 2 or 3 years of age, the longer the safer.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

What if the cop made a mistakes on your traffic ticket, can it be dismissed ? By Mr. MC

July 27th, 2011

Say you got a speeding ticket (NOTICE TO APPEAR), and you find that the cop had mistakenly recorded (written) the following information incorrectly:

  • year/make/color of your car
  • violation code (i.e. CVC 22349 instead of CVC 22350)
  • the location/your traveling direction where you violated the traffic law
  • insurance company name / policy number
  • court appearance date (i.e. WHEN: Date___ Time___)

Based on our experience, about 5% to 15% of the tickets contain mistakes or typos. And, about 100% of our Defendants think that these are the “grounds” for their ticket dismissal or appeal. Let me tell you a story, and you will change your thinking.
A few years back, around year 2009, I always visit the Trial de Novo trial at the Palo Alto Courthouse (Palo Alto, CA) on every Wednesday morning from 9 AM to 11 AM. The Trial de Novo trial is an appeal traffic trial for Defendant who was found guilty at the Trial By Written Declaration. These Defendants at the Trial de Novo trials are experienced ticket fighters. Most of them are very experienced. (i.e. They beat 5+ tickets before). In one case, the cop and Defendant both showed up, and at the beginning of the trial, the cop requested the Judge to amend (change) the violation code since he made a mistake in the first place. The Judge then asked Defendant if he would agree with such change. As an experienced ticket fighter like this Defendant, of course, he would object to such change. Then, here is the catch, the Judge then asked Defendant: “On what basis that you object to such change ? Which code, which law ?” And, the Defendant just could not figure this out, of course, he is not a lawyer, he does not study law. So, the Judge allows the cop to change the code, and asked them to re-visit the court for trail after two weeks.

I then went home and research for codes or laws that could be used as basis to raise an objection to such change at the last minute. I found that you may, during the trial, object to such change pursant to California Code Of Civil Procedure Section 471.5.

The Officer should follow the proper procedures where the Officer must:

  1. File the change of the ticket with the court house
  2. Serve the Defendant (you) with the amended copy of the ticket

And, if you have never been granted a Continuance, you must tell the Judge that even if the Officer followed the above procedures, your right for Speedy Trial (45 days) will be violated.
Request the Judge to dismiss the case, or request the Officer to follow the procedures otherwise.

If the cop follows the procedures in the first place, you will be served with an amended copy of your ticket (usually the same cop), and you will receive the Courtesy Notice much later.

Please remember that mistakes made by the cop are not excuses (“grounds”) for your ticket dismissal, and don’t be tricked by the cop and Judge !

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

A Honda Civic ran a red light and almost hit a pedestrian – By Mr. MC

July 25th, 2011

This evening, while I was driving westbound Stevens Creek Blvd (-x- S. Blaney Ave) towards Cupertino, CA, I saw a 2000 Honda Civic ran the red light, and almost hit a pedestrian. That pedestrian, a middle age Asian man was scared by the Civic. I could see many cars ran the red light everyday, but this one is extremely worse. The red light has already been turned for at least 15 seconds, and that pedestrian was 10 feet from being hit, and both cars from both sides of the cross street were about to make their turns, and they all stopped including the pedestrian, for that Civic which was traveling at 40 MPH, and there were no tendency that the driver would attempt to stop or even slowing down. If that Civic hit anything, it’s going to be fatal. At least 2 or 3 people may die from this accident. What if I happen to be in front of this Civic, and when I stop for the red, I may get rear ended ??!!

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Deciding which car seat (convertible) to get – By Mr. MC

July 20th, 2011

Last weekend, I shopped a few stores around San Jose, CA for the convertible car seat.
I visited the following stores:

  • Baby Hugs – not much selection, more $$$
  • Babies R Us – great selection ONLY if it is not attached with Toy R Us store.
  • Buy Buy Baby – great selection, you can find USD$1000 car seat by Orbit Baby
  • Target – not much selection, but we get used to go here

So, I am now deciding between two models from Britax:

My criteria in the purchase decisions are:

  • Safety (the MOST important)
  • Quality (it better not breaks within 6 years)
  • Comfort (so that my baby won’t complaint, and cry every seconds)
  • Easy to Use
  • Color (depends on my wife!)

My budget can be up do USD$300, and I did not put the “price” as one of the criteria is that I believe that every dollar worth for the safety of the child. Also, more important, with the safest child seat installed does not mean the child is safe if you don’t drive carefully, and defensively.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Infant or Child Car Seat Inspection – By Mr. MC

July 8th, 2011

If you do use an infant car seat or a child car seat, and you have never had your car seat inspected for its installation correctness, you should make an appointment and have someone certified CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) to inspect your car seat. It is important since according to a survey, four out of five (80%) car seats were installed or used incorrectly. So, why bother to use a car seat if one does not inspect for its correctness of usage and installation ?

Last Tuesday (July 5th), I visited the Standford Hospital at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to have my car seat inspected. Not to my surprise, they found a few things:

  • Most car seat has an expiration date, and it is usually 6 years at max, and my car seat has one more year left. I got my car seat from a friend.
  • The installation was wrong where I used both seat belt and latches to secure the seat. I am suppose to only use one way or the other. They suggest I use the seat belt since the latches is only good up to 7 lbs of weight of the baby.
  • My car seat will not fit the baby if the baby exceed 22 lbs. My baby now weight 20.5 lbs now. So, I need to buy a new car seat, and re-visit them immediately

During the inspection, they gave me a lecture on how to install and use the car seat. It will take around 30 to 45 minutes. I also learned that most of the car seat inspection appointments are full especially at AAA and the police station. You have to wait 5 months for an appointment. I found this children hospital which has an opening in the early morning at 8 AM right after July 4th since there was a cancellation, I was so lucky. Also, if you are to schedule an appointment, do it online at lpch.org, and check “Car Seat Fitting” at the left panel.

Failure to use the car seat properly may result in an expensive traffic ticket, CVC 27360 (i.e. US$500+).

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

66 young San Jose Police Officer were laidoff on June 30, 2011 – Good news or bad news for us ? By Mr. MC

July 4th, 2011

According to this San Jose Mercury News article on June 30, 2011, 66 young police officer were laid off. The first thing that came to my mind is that a good news or bad news for drivers like us ?

Would there be LESS cops hiding around, or those remaining cops would become much more aggressive to hand out tickets so that they could keep their job ? Would their be more crimes in San Jose ?

I have no idea, but in general, younger cops are mostly on motorcycles, and they are harder to spot. They follow all the court procedures when you fight your ticket, and 95% of them will show up in court. They are good cops! Now, with less good and young cops, perhaps, it is easier to fight a ticket, but your chance of getting ticket should still be the same or a little bit less. Since there will be more cop ticketing with their car instead of motorcycle, and it should be easier to spot them when they are not hiding at a small street nearby an intersection.

Anyway, visit MotherCopper.com for help if you get a ticket.

Always remember not to admit anything when you are questioned by a cop…always reply, “I was driving safely” for all the questions related to your driving behavior, your work or meeting schedule, your speed, and etc.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

I love the Garmin GPS – By Mr. MC

June 21st, 2011

Having a GPS is great, so far, I notice the following advantages:

  • Save Time & Money – no more maps, or getting unclear road directions from strangers. Most GPS devices are around US$100.
  • Save Gas – shortest path, and therefore, it saves you gas
  • Drive Safer – you no longer staring at the road map or on the phone for direction while driving
  • Live Traffic Reports – some GPS has live traffic reports, and you can avoid traffic instantly, and moreover, you no longer get lost after you get into a small and unknown street.

I also notice the following disadvantages:

  • No Use of Brain – GPS can remember you home, office, and many other addresses. No need to remember anything.
  • Chance for Break In – With your GPS on the dashboard, in some bad areas, people will break into your car for the GPS, and other valuables.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Car accident due to unsafe lane change (CVC 21658) – By Mr. MC

June 14th, 2011

Last Sunday, while I was going from San Jose, CA to Cupertino, CA on northbound Hwy 280, there was an accident around Wolfe Rd exit. It had already happened when I arrive the scene. I could see a 1997 Honda Accord at the emergency lane with its front facing the oncoming cars (southbound), and a 2005 Mercedes C230 with its left front damaged bumper at the most right between the Wolfe exit, and the slowest lane at the right. From my experience, it seems like someone had an unsafe lane change at a high speed, perhaps, the Honda Accord did, and while one car is merging into the freeway, and the other is trying to exit from the freeway, if the Honda Accord slowed down suddenly, the Mercedes would have rear ended the Accord. That’s my observation. The CHP may issue an unsafe lane change ticket (CVC 21658) to one of the driver.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Cops hiding after midnight in Cupertino, CA to catch driver who ran the STOP sign (CVC 22450) – By Mr. MC

June 13th, 2011

Last night around 12:30 AM (Monday), I was driving on northbound Bubb Rd towards Stevens Creek Blvd. There were many STOP signs outside JFK Junior High, and while I never miss any of those, I realized there was a police SUV hiding 200 feet away perpendicularly on Hyannisport Drive in the dark. Unless you were on Hyannisport Drive, you probably will not notice that after you passed the STOP. Hopefully, you did STOP completely like I did. Otherwise, you will get a ticket for violating CVC 22450.
I know that some cops do that, and they do it as late as 3 AM.

Who knows where they are hiding now!

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com