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Kids on motorcycles


Rocer

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A member of our provincial (Ontario) legislature has introduced a bill to prohibit children under 14 years of age from riding as passengers on motorcycles in spite of the fact that there is already a law requiring passengers be able to reach the foot pegs. I understand that 4 states have laws relating to children as passengers (Arkansas, Hawaii, Washington and Louisiana) but limitations with varying ages between 5 and 8 yrs. I realize this is a group with (perhaps) some vested interest but I am interested in feedback on this topic.

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This from the same government that allows our children to ride on school busses that have no seat belts? So at 14 you are too young to ride even as a passenger on a motorcycle and miraculously four short years later it is okay to defend democracy putting their lives on the line in Afganistan? Please PM the members public email address at the legislature so that I can provide direct feedback.

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I truly believe their hearts are in the right place in trying to push this bill thru. Lord knows none of us want any kids killed by their parent's or an inattentive driver's stupidity but what's next? No swimming, no hunting? Let's ban the swing-set and seesaw, oh and bicycles are too dangerous...If we continue to try to protect ourselves from ourselves we will end up on the couch in the fetal position sucking our thumbs as a hobby.

 

It is a shame that some people will die on a motorcycle and one day I could be one of them, but if it were not for me starting to ride at a young age I probably wouldn't be enjoying it today.I taught my son to ride at age 6 (offroad) and groomed him (ATGATT) until he was 14 before he rode on the street on his own bike. Then it was only with me for the first year. Was I scared on his first solo voyage? Hell yes and every time he goes out I am aware it could be the last time I see him go.

 

I know your post was mainly aimed at children as passengers but once that is passed it won't stop there.

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Dave McReynolds

Let's ban the swing-set and seesaw,

 

Notice that you don't see any pullup bars in playgrounds anymore? Yup. The pullup bar, that just sits there and doesn't do anything to anybody, is too dangerous to have in a park. Because someone might hang on it upside down and fall off and break his neck, I suppose. So rather than appreciating the pullup bar for strengthening our gene pool, we ban it.

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guns kill more kids than motorcycles.

drugs kill more kids than motorcycles.

falling off a bicycle without a helmet is the number one cause of head trauma visits to the er in children.

Child abuse affects way more children than motorcycle accidents.

I THINK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NEEDS TO REFOCUS HIS/HER EFFORTS.

By the way, I drive a gold wing trike specifically so I can take my children ages 5 and 8 with me, right down to the helmets and pink motorcycle boots. (Do you know how hard it is to find pink motorcycle boots in kids sizes?)

P.S. Not to get too political, but I do own a gun as well.

 

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By the way, I drive a gold wing trike specifically so I can take my children ages 5 and 8 with me, right down to the helmets and pink motorcycle boots.

 

I'm not taking issue with anything you said but don't you think this line (above) "supports" the position that MC (at least the 2 wheeled kind) are dangerous to children?

 

By the way, both of my children (now grown) have ridden with me over the years and I can honestly say it's not something I have ever relished, nor have I ever encouraged either of them to become riders. Call me a hypocrite but I've seen too many bad things happen to riders that did nothing wrong. It's just something I've never wanted to have to worry about. I can't justify that, it's just how I'm wired.

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I hate big brother replacing so many things that seem common sense with a law. In the spirit of 'bogthebasher' above, it's not ok to drink until 21 but it's ok to put your life on the line in the military at 18. Where's the common sense in that?

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The article that alerted me to this Bill (117) can be read at wheels.ca under the banner of the columnist Mark Richardson.

 

I would like to hear stats from other jurisdictions relating to child injuries relating to motorcycle accidents / incidents. It's not apparent that the injuries quoted in this article are in fact "accident" injuries but may include pipe burns etc.. Nor is it clear if these stats "lump in" off road incidents or whether or not they include atv's.

 

While this legislation is specific to Ontario I believe it is tip of the iceberg regulation based on poor justification that becomes a catalyst for other governing bodies. If it becomes law it will be the most restrictive in defining motorcycle passenger age in North America.

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I think a height and/or weight restirction might be reasonable. But 14 is a little old. I think 12 might be more realiztic.

 

If hte kids don't need a booster seat in the car, then they are old enough to be on a motorcycle with proper gear.

 

I agree that they have the right idea, but's it's a little restrictive.

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Government too large or small aside, in my development there are two fathers who routinely ride their Harleys around our streets with their very young toddlers sitting on the gas tank. I'm talking 2-3 years old here. The fathers are wearing the beanie helmets, the kids are wearing no gear whatsoever.

 

As an ATTGAT type of guy, would I like to see a copy pull in there on a Saturday and stop them? Hell yes, I would. I have a 6 year old myself. In my wildest dreams, someday she'll grow up to love riding and we'll hit the road together. I cannot for the life of me imagine how a parent can take a 2-3 year old around public streets sitting on the sloped gas tank with no gear.

 

-MKL

 

PS - By the way, I should mention I just got back from vacation in Ecaudor, where it's COMMON to see families of 4-5 people (including swaddled infants tied to their mother's backs) riding all together on tiny 125cc UJMs. Amazing...

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grizzly660fan

well, to present another view, I have a 2.5 year old who rides with me all the time on my RT. He simply loves it and I love having him along. The biggest problem I have is if he falls to sleep he cold fall off.

 

my solution: child riding belt

 

we get lots of comments and people will snap pictures of us with their mobile phones while riding.

 

the hardest part of riding with kids is finding gear their size. Utah has a helmet law that states helmet is manditory if under 18 yrs old. I could not find street oriented helmets to fit, but have found dirt bike helmets. I can't find jackets with armor built in for youth sizes.

 

we also ride ATV's and use the same belt for off road riding.

 

it can be done, and done safely if you want to.

 

 

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I hate big brother replacing so many things that seem common sense with a law. In the spirit of 'bogthebasher' above, it's not ok to drink until 21 but it's ok to put your life on the line in the military at 18. Where's the common sense in that?

 

[hijack]

You can get a driver's license at 16.

You can vote at 18.

You can be in the military at 18.

You can't drink alcohol until you're 21.

 

Hmmm... I wonder if more 16 year olds kill themselves while driving than 21 year olds kill themselves by drinking themselves to death? (Yes, yes, I know, it is very simplistically speaking, of course).

 

In most of northern Europe (at least 20 years ago) the age for all of the above was 18. Makes more sense to me. Rather than the "You're old enough to do this adult activity, but not this other one."

 

[/hijack]

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I'm very selective about where and under what circumstances I will take my 11 year old, I've noticed many parents are less so, that's their choice, but after watching the Government operate the last few months I'm convinced the government isn't smart enough to tell me ANYTHING.

 

they need to go back to providing a common defense and road building and keep their dang noses out of my life.

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I do the trike thing for their comfort. I think many people can safely ride 2 wheelers with children. I started riding with them on the back of a suzuki burgman scooter, but there was nothing for them to hold on to. I was looking for a bike that I could put armrests on for them to hold on to, and that meant gold wing, BMW LT or HD Ultra. WIth a bike that large and my 29 inch inseam, I did not want to drop the bike with them on the back. The trike doesnt lean as much and they like the ride better. The wing allows armrests that they can hold on to, as well as hold onto my backrest. For me, I am smaller and didnt want to drop a larger bike with them on the back. I dont know how regulating the childs reach to the footpegs would help me control the bike any better. I get more concerned when I see a child riding on the back of a motorcycle without a helmet. If the adult chooses not to wear a helmet, thats ok with me, but I think kids should wear them, and again that has nothing to do with their reach to the pegs.

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I agree with grizzley 660 that riding with children can be done safely and like the idea of the riding belt. Sidecars are another option, as they can carry more than one smaller child, although Ive never driven one. Just like with gun ownership, safety is the responsibility of the user.

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Sidecars are another option

While reading through this thread, I thought sidecar from the get go. Many sidecarists own such an outfit because of their family and/or their kids. Yes, sidecar outfits are classified under the laws that regulate a motorcycle. You aren't required to have a seat belt, you are required to have a helmet in helmet States/Provinces.

 

The requirement that the child be able to touch the pegs, and that the child must wear a helmet are both reasonable requirements.

 

Do I take my 12 year old on longer trips on my two wheeler? No, he gets sleepy. Is he fine on the two wheeler for 1 hour trips? Yes. He rides dirt bike all over, so he's very qualified to ride as passenger. Do I take him on long trips in the sidecar? Yes, it's a safe riding vehicle for someone his age for a long trip.

 

Hopefully the government sees the logic, and sidecar and motorcycle organizations are able to be involved in the discussion.

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Some of this I suspect is also regional. The outrage expressed in my earlier post is likely shared by 99% of the people who have ever ridden around here (New Jersey), where things like red lights and stop signs are mere suggestions. Traffic is dense and snarled at all times, so you're either crawling along on main street, bumper to bumper, or traveling a minimum of 80mph on the overly crowded highways with cars 4 feet in front, behind, and on your sides. Not for the faint of heart!

 

I agree that in the Midwest or other such rural areas, it wouldn't be nearly as big a deal. But here, you really have to be crazy or outright negligent to do it.

 

-MKL

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I realize this is a group with (perhaps) some vested interest but I am interested in feedback on this topic.

 

The individual states through their own representatives are obliged to propose laws arising out of public interest and or demand. This is in fact guaranteed by the American Constitution. So enough of the civics review. What I want to say is that there are various states with some strange laws pertaining to motorcyclists. The strangest one I find are the states that don't have a manadatory helmet law! Fortunately IMO I am happy that the ratification of these laws (or lack of thereof) occurs at the State level. I can only speculate on why this seemingly absurd proposition is even on the table. I think that most people on this forum have a good feeling for sensibility regarding motorcycling and that very few of us are practising front end wheelies on the interstate or burning black doughnuts with our kids aboard. To the extreme contrary there are discusions about child seats, protective gear and better riding techniques. It is inevitably the minority of less than sensible individuals that probably create the need for nonsensical discussions as the whether our children can enjoy a sunny ride with us or not. I've seen grownups in shorts and toe sandals with Sonny on the back wearing nothing but a bathing suit motoring onwards in ignorant bliss. Aren't the requirements to operate a motorcycle somewhat lax if the initial training doesn't include saftey? There has to be an increase in awareness in the dangers both in the minds of the rider and the motorist. Here is where more public attention could be used. NOT in pacification with unnecessary lawmaking. OK, lets impose on the blatently irresponsible retards already present judicial sanctions for endangering themselves, their children and others but first make sure that they are aware of what the dangers are and the consequences that may follow.

Happy to rant this time :/

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Here is an update from a concerned bike club in Ontario with respect to Bill 117; included is some contact information. I will also upload a copy of the petition if there is interest:

 

Help us STOP Bill 117

 

You may not have kids, but maybe you want to take one for a ride someday. If this legislation that got first reading on Monday

becomes law it will never happen again on Ontario Roads. There goes the family vacation by motorcycle. Think about it, don’t wait for the other guy to do something about it, write a letter or call your MPP and let them know you don’t like this idea. If you need help doing this, contact us in the Sarnia-Lambton Bikers Rights Organization and we will help you out. A simple phone call to the MPP who proposed this with the simple statement of who you are and that you are against the legislation Ms. Helena

Jaczek has proposed is a start. Or an email to hjaczek.mpp@liberal.ola.org

 

Helena Jaczek, MPP (Oak Ridges--Markham)

Ministry of Health Promotion

18th Floor, 777 Bay St.

Toronto, Ontario

M7A 1S5

Toronto # 416-327-4370

Markham # 905-294-4931

 

This is the link for this legislation PROPOSAL http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2098

 

Bill 117

An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit the driving and operation of motorcycles

with child passengers.

 

The Highway Traffic Act is amended by adding the following section: Prohibition of passengers under 14 years old on motorcycles.

 

38.1 No person shall drive or operate a motorcycle on a highway if another person under the age

of 14 years is a passenger on the motorcycle.

 

Explanatory Note

 

The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit driving or operating a motorcycle on a highway while a person under the age of 14 is a passenger on the motorcycle, with a view to promoting safety on Ontario’s roads and protecting youth from preventable

injuries.

 

Please - if you can, get the petition signed and send it in. We riders have to stick together on this! Send your filled in petition to:

 

OCC

P.O. Box 14517

Heritage Hills Postal Outlet

Mississauga, ON

L5R 4G3

Ken MacDonald

Sarnia-Lambton Bikers Rights Organization Chairman

(519) 845-0239

 

Check us out on the Web at www.slbro.on.ca

 

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well, to present another view, I have a 2.5 year old who rides with me all the time on my RT. He simply loves it and I love having him along. The biggest problem I have is if he falls to sleep he cold fall off.

 

I found an HJC Youth street helmet for my son when he was about 4. It still fits him well and he loves to ride with me on the RT. We've not looked at the belt, although I did read Doug Grosjean's book Wheels (from aerostitch) about riding with his son using one.

 

I found gear from the now defunct Cruzingclothes4kids.com site. It's gear made in the UK, under the market name of GR8. I do have contact info for the owner of the defunct company and he had some inventory of stuff still last I talked w/him a couple months back.

 

Here's my boy in his regalia

 

214981651_XLFKZ-M.jpg

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Bogthebasher - thanks for the contact detail re: Bill 117 in Ontario.

 

I would add that motorcycle in this instance includes any vehicle requiring an M license which includes trikes, sidecars and Spyders. Also, may I point out that this issue is relevant to friends outside the province, and especially our friends from the United States, because if Bill 117 becomes law they will be turned away at our borders if they have a child / grandchild under the age of 14 onboard.I would also add that this prohibition of children under 14 as passengers may become a model for other jurisdictions. Although MPP Jaczek is not "their" MPP, I encourage anyone who might be impacted by this legislation to contact Ms. Jaczek at the email address you have posted (hjaczk.mpp@liberal.ola.org).

 

Paul

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The biggest problem I have is if he falls to sleep he cold fall off.

 

my solution: child riding belt

 

We use this as well. I have an 8 year old and a 12 year old who use this. The 12 year old likes to ride, but has trouble staying awake. His solution is to not ride unless he can stay awake for the trip. He has taken several long trips with me and loves the ride, but we have talked about how unsafe it is to sleep on the bike (even in the harness) and so he mostly chooses not to ride unless it is a short ride.

 

My 8 year old loves the bike and loves the corners. I keep him on the cruiser mostly because ofhte backrest and he reaches the pegs just fine on it, where they are more of a problem on the S. He will ride for hours, but mostly I keep him in the neighborhoods and away from traffic and busy roads. He will be my rider, I can see it now. He gets so mad at me for taking rides without him.

 

Both kids have their own gear and helmets. They do not mount the motorcycle without full protection. Still, I worry about them when on the bike, and tend to ride extra cautious. I am terrified if they ever want to ride alone on the street.

 

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Our of province riders with young passengers would not be turned away by Customs. Customs does not enforce the Highway Traffic Act.

 

On the other hand visitors would be at the mercy of LEOs once in Ontario.

 

I wrote to my (Liberal) MPP and he was emphatic that this is a private member's bill and not government policy. He said he personally will not be in the legislature for the vote.

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We need to do whatever it takes to keep these kids safe. They have a lot of money to pay back when they grow up.

 

Not to mention keeping my Social Security benefits "in the black". :thumbsup:

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I wrote to my (Liberal) MPP and he was emphatic that this is a private member's bill and not government policy. He said he personally will not be in the legislature for the vote.
Pretty chickens**t when legislators do not vote either yea or nay just to protect their political a**!
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I wrote to my (Liberal) MPP and he was emphatic that this is a private member's bill and not government policy. He said he personally will not be in the legislature for the vote.
Pretty chickens**t when legislators do not vote either yea or nay just to protect their political a**!
:thumbsup: +1 regardless of country

 

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Totally man... Don't show up for the vote, then in my book don't expect a paycheck at the expense of the people you put you there! Just sayin.

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All 3 of my boys have ridden with me (not at the same time) since they were in kindergarten. They have to wear a helmet, jacket, gloves, and pants. Usually it's just a short ride to school or the Y. They love it and it makes a great reward for good behavior and doing well at school. My congressman would be getting a call from me if someone threatened to take that away.

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I was only 14 when I got my motorcycle license. Oklahoma is one of the only States that allows 14 year olds to ride on the street.

 

There were some rules: (which you most ignored)

No bikes bigger than 125cc (I had a 250, put on 125cc stickers, never got caught)

No riding between 9:30pm-5:30am

Helmet required

Could not travel on roads with speed limits faster than 35mph (this one hurt...)

 

It was a great way to get around when you weren't old enough to drive a car.

 

 

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