- The photograph was taken at a routine traffic stop
- "This heartbreaking photo was taken by an officer," officials say
- The mother received several tickets
It must have been a valuable gas can.
A Colorado driver drew the ire of many after she strapped a gas can to a child car seat -- but left a toddler in a diaper restrained only with a lap belt.
A police officer in the city of Aurora who stopped the driver during a routine "Click it or Ticket" seat belt enforcement check snapped a photo of what he saw.
The Colorado Department of Transportation posted the photo on its Facebook with a message that read:
"Unbelievable! This heartbreaking photo was taken by an officer... 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."
By Wednesday morning, angry readers flooded the page with more than 200 comments and more than 600 others had re-posted it on their pages.
"Sadly this photo seems to say that the parents think that gas is more valuable than the little one!" one comment read.
Another said: "The poor child. What if they got into an accident? That baby can't be older then 2 years old."
The woman told police that the child frequently unbuckled his seat belt, CNN affiliate KUSA reported.
An officer asked the mother if the child also frequently grabbed a gas can, buckled it into a car seat and then buckled himself in a seat next to the gas can.
The woman, the affiliate said, had no answer.
The mother was ticketed for seat beat violations, a car seat violation and other traffic offenses, the affiliate reported.