Teen hurt riding pocket bike

A 14-year-old boy was flown from Grand Cayman to Miami for medical treatment this past weekend after he was injured riding a vehicle that is not allowed on the road in many North American and European countries, states and provinces.

Police said the teen was driving a miniature motorcycle (also known as a pocket bike, pocket rocket, or mini motorbike) along Stepping Stone Drive in North Side when he fell off around 7pm Friday.

The boy was transported to hospital in Cayman and later taken to Miami for additional treatment.

Police said he was with friends who were taking turns driving the bike when he lost control and fell. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Royal Cayman Islands Police said Monday that mini motorbikes are legal on Cayman Islands roads. However, a police spokesperson said they were required to be registered and licensed in the same way as a car or normal-sized motorcycle.

The Cayman Islands Traffic Regulations (2002 Revision) state the minimum driving age for a motorcycle with an engine capacity of 125 cubic centimetres or less is 17. For motorcycles with an engine of more than 125cc capacity, the minimum driving age is 19 years.

Motorcycles are required to have a head lamp in front and a rear light, as well as a reflector and registration plate.

It was not clear from police reports whether the vehicle the teen was using had been registered or if it had met all of the various safety requirements.

Mini motorbikes with an engine capacity of at least 50cc are, in most cases, are not allowed on public roads in the United Kingdom and operators can receive fines or have the bikes taken away if they are caught. Those with 45cc engines can be ridden in public fields.

The more powerful mini bikes are regarded in the UK as motor vehicles, and are subject to all traffic requirements. Generally, mini motorbikes are not built to meet those requirements.

In the United States, states and cities have taken various stances on mini motorbikes. For instance, they are illegal for use on public roads in New York City, but not necessarily in the rest of New York State. The state of California has banned their use on public roads entirely.

Some US states do not consider motor scooters or mini motorbikes to be the same under their traffic laws as a car or motorcycle, so children younger than 16 are allowed to operate them.

In Canada, Ontario province makes it illegal for mini motorbikes to be used on public roads. Similarly, in the Netherlands the vehicles cannot be used on public streets.

Australia also makes it illegal to use mini motorbikes on heavily travelled highways or streets.

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