The alarmed California Highway Patrol officials stopped at State Route 99 in Sacramento this weekend after a child in the back seat asked for help.
The officers finally located the vehicle on Highway 99 near 8 Mile Road in Stockton and made a "high risk" stop.
The child's mother "did not know what her daughter was doing", the authorities said.
The post, shared shortly after the incident, stated, "At approximately 5:02 p.m., our officers received a call of a vehicle traveling on southbound SR-99 at Dillard Road with a female juvenile in the backseat holding up a piece of paper asking for help". "Help!" in the Sacramento area on Saturday, authorities said.
On the California Highway Patrol Facebook page, many people have called for charges or fines on both the mom and the child. The responding unit determined there was no foul play and allowed the mother and daughter to leave the scene.
After speaking with the driver, the police discovered that it was just a joke.
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Officers reminded parents to keep an eagle eye on their children, even when they're in the back seat.
Some people suggested the child should get a ticket, while others recommended community service.
"This is a reminder that parents need to be aware of what their children are doing in the back seat at all times", the CHP said.
"The parent was driving".
In all, six CHIP units (including a K9 unit) were assigned to the call.
"The parents drove. How can you expect her to be responsible and drive without distractions if you also want her to focus on a teenage boy in the back who I think she's behaving well?"