6-year-old sentenced to traffic school
Updated: Thursday, 09 Apr 2009, 10:18 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 Apr 2009, 10:17 AM EDT
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Even though mom got the ticket a Los Lunas magistrate judge isn't letting her child off the hook for refusing to buckle up.
The child's mother, who was ticketed for failing to restrain her child, asked Judge John "Buddy" Sanchez if he could help discipline her 6-year-old.
The boy always took his seat belt off despite her pleas, the mother said.
"He took off his seat belt, I pulled over again and put it on and he took it off right in front of the cop," said Jessica who did not want to release her full name.
In January Jessica was stopped and ticketed. She landed in front of Judge Sanchez last month and asked him to talk to her son.
"She didn't want to plead guilty to it because it was her son that was actually not obeying her," Sanchez said.
He agreed that it was Jessica's son who needed to learn a lesson so he ordered ther to take her young son to traffic school.
"But there was nothing because of his age," said Jessica.
That's when the judge reached out to a Los Lunas driver's education instructor Avilio Chavez.
"I thought he was kidding," Chavez said. "He wanted to send him to defensive-driving class or driver-improvement class."
After some discussion Chavez and Sanchez agreed on a simpler solution to teach the young lawbreaker a lesson.
"Full seat-belt school," Sanchez said.
Jessica agreed to take her son to a seat-belt safety class, which is expected to start in a month. They'll attend together and also learn other traffic safety measures.
"Having somebody that young is an interesting concept," said Chavez who added that the youngest student he's ever had in his class was 15.
"We just want to make sure everyone's safe," Sanchez said.
But it looks like the lesson has already been learned.
"I think it's a very good idea," said Jessica. "He did it all the time until Judge Buddy Sanchez talked to him."
Sanchez said anyone who goes through his court for failure to restrain a child could now have to take the class along with their child.
Video of Judge giving an explanation
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