Parents: What's wrong with this picture?

5:32 PM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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An officer with the Aurora Police Department found this child unrestrained in the back seat of a vehicle, while a gas can was securely fastened into the child safety seat. Photo courtesy: Colorado Department of Transportation.

Stacey Stegman, CDOT spokesperson, says the photo was taken by an Aurora traffic officer during a traffic stop as part of the Click It or Ticket enforcement.

The photo was posted with this message:

"Unbelievable! This heartbreaking photo was taken by an officer with the Aurora Police Department during Click It or Ticket enforcement last week. Share it to remind everyone that life is precious, so please be responsible and make sure children are properly restrained in the appropriate child safety seat. Go to www.carseatscolorado.com to find a free local fit station to get help."

Lieutenant Chuck DeShazer, Commanding Officer of the Aurora Police Department Traffic Sections, told 9NEWS the female driver was pulled over for conducting an illegal left turn.

"She was not wearing her seatbelt and her approximately 14-year-old passenger in the front seat also wasn't wearing a seatbelt," DeShazer said. "The woman told him (the officer) 'Sorry - we just forgot.'"

DeShazer says the officer continued to question her about the child in the back seat, the child in the photo, not in any restraints. He says her response to the officer was, "Oh, he unbuckles and buckles his seatbelt by himself all the time."

DeShazer says the officer's response to that was, "And then buckles in the gas canister?"

According to DeShazer, the woman didn't have a response to the officer's question.

The woman was ticketed for the illegal turn, two seat belt violations, and the car seat violation, says DeShazer.

The CDOT post was shared on the 9NEWS Facebook page where in less than an hour 72 comments were left, and it was shared over 100 times.

The law in Colorado requires all children eight years of age and younger to be in a child safety seat while traveling in a motor vehicle. The minimum stipulated fine is $82 per violation.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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