Opinion

This mom was left stranded with a newborn after police took her car

Chelsey Massé's family road trip became a total nightmare when the cops pulled her over.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Taking a road trip with a newborn is hard enough. So imagine you’re on the road with your partner and baby when the police pull you over and tell you get out of it because it’s being impounded. And, oh yeah, you’re hours away from home.

That’s what happened to a Gatineau, Que. mom Sept. 26 while en route to New Brunswick to visit family. Chelsey Massé was travelling with her husband, Sébastien Leblanc, and their one-month old son, Alexy, when a Sûreté du Québec police officer stopped them on Highway 85 through Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, Que. (close to the New Brunswick border).

The officer told Massé her license had been suspended three days earlier as a result of not paying a parking ticket she had received in December of last year. That’s when he delivered the news: Her vehicle would be immediately impounded for 30 days and she would be issued a $481 fine. Already six-and-a-half hours into their trip, with a car fully packed and a newborn on her hands, Massé says she burst into tears and told the officer that he couldn’t just leave them there. The officer didn’t offer help—but he did tell her to stop crying at one point.

Thankfully, Massé and her family were able to get off the highway to a nearby McDonald’s and arrange a pick-up from a family member (who drove two hours just to get to them).

Massé paid to get her license reinstated and will have to drive back to Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac after Oct. 29 to pick up her car. Although she admits that she should have paid the ticket on time—she got a letter in September stating her license would be suspended on Sept. 23 if she didn’t pay it—she says she would’ve appreciated a little empathy from the police officer.

Although the police may have been within their legal rights, do you think they made the right call? What would you do in a situation like this?

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