Today’s Editorial for June 25: Pocket bikes pose a danger

Maybe it’s time for lawmakers to reconsider current laws on miniature motorcycles and their use on Cayman roadways.

Just this weekend a 14-year-old boy had to be taken to hospital and then transported to Miami after falling off one of these pocket rockets.

Thankfully, the reports we’re getting is that he is going to live.

He and his friends were having some Friday afternoon fun when he lost control of the vehicle and fell.

Pocket rockets look like toys, but they’re not, even though they are sold in North America at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart.

Many countries, states and cities have banned the use of the mini motorcycles on public roadways. If someone is riding a mini pocket rocket behind you, you won’t be able to see them or the motorbike.

The bikes were originally developed in Italy, where European versions are raced on tracks at speeds above 50 mph. The tiny motorcycles’ popularity in the United States has increased astronomically and has proven to be popular here as well.

US consumer groups list them as among the top 10 most dangerous toys.

A quick scroll through The US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website shows several recalls of pocket bikes by their makers.

In some states and cities in the United States pocket bikes have been banned altogether.

Some of the more notable accidents involving pocket rockets in the US include:

* A 19-year-old man riding without a helmet in Queens, New York, died after he hit a pothole and fell off his bike while trying to elude police.

* An 18-year-old man riding a pocket bike in Philadelphia died after colliding with a car.

* A youth in Lenexa, Missouri, lost control of his pocket bike in a parking lot, hit a parked car and died of a skull fracture.

* A Kansas City, Missouri, rider died when he collided with a car after running a stop sign.

* A 22-year-old Houston woman faced a felony child-endangerment charge after crashing the pocket bike she and her 4-year-old son were riding in a high school parking lot. Neither was wearing a helmet.

In the Cayman Islands the bikes are allowed if they are properly equipped with a head lamp in front, a rear light, a reflector and a registration plate.

But we would bet that not all pocket rockets are registered in the Cayman Islands and many probably don’t meet the safety requirements.

If your child is riding one of these mini motorcycles he should be supervised at all times and ride with a helmet.

Pocket rockets are cute and those who have ridden them say they’re fun.

But they need to be taken off the streets of the Cayman Islands.

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