Riding with children
Thanks to the increase in the price of fuel (though at this moment it’s heading South, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that it’ll increase again shortly) many more people have taken to two wheel transportation, motorcycles and scooters. Motorcycles/scooters are now used for short distance transportation, were before you’d use a car to go get a pizza, now more and more people are turning to this more economical form of transportation.
One of this things people are using motorcycles for, replacing cars, is bringing their kids to school. Dad (or Mom) use the scooter or motorcycle to commute to work, and as in the good old days, they used to drop Junior off at the school in the car. Now, they’re using the Powered Two Wheel (PTW), so Junior will need to go to school on the bike.
And this is were the inherent dangers sprint to life. Many parents think that since it’s a relative short distance, the kid doesn’t need protection! Boy, are they wrong! Most accidents happen within 10 miles of the home. And even if you don’t have an accident by crashing into car (or more likely a car crashing into you), just think what will happen to your kid when you stop before a light, put your foot down, and it slips on something (wet spot, grease, oil, banana peel). You’ll fall, get bruised, and laugh it off. But your kid? Will she/he be so lucky?
Even if you live in a no-helmets-mandatory state, does that mean you’re going make that decision for your kid? Are you willing to gamble with your kid’s life? And NO, a bicycle helmet doesn’t count! A full-face, well fitted, helmet is your best choice.
If you think about it, helmets aren’t the only thing that is really needed for your kids. Children are still growing, and anything that happens to them can affect then for the rest of their lives. The best thing is to make sure they are properly protected. No, you’ll not need to buy them leathers. But a sensible jacket with armor is going to ensure more safety than a t-shirt. If you don’t want to pay the price of these clothes, you can always turn to 2nd hand children clothing. They do exist, and could be a good place to buy proper protection for your kids at an affordable price.
Putting your kids on your tank is not a good idea either. A little bit extra braking, and your kid is going to slide, ending up in your windscreen or worse on the road. The only place is behind you, on a seat! Kids loose interest and attention real quick. One moment of inattention, and they’re history.
Some countries have stricter rules. For example, some countries require specially adapted seats with belts for children younger than 5 years old. Children don’t have the same reflexes and behaviors that adults have (but some adults have behaviors that children have, but that’s another story).
Using a belt system can save your kid’s life.
So next time you bring you kid on your motorcycle, think about their safety first.