Pocket rocket used illegally

A Royal Cayman Islands Police constable said Wednesday that the parents of a 14-year-old boy who was injured in a mini motorbike accident last week may end up being considered liable for the crash.

Mini motorbikes, also known as pocket rockets or pocket bikes, are allowed to be imported into the Cayman Islands. However, they cannot be used on public roads unless they meet all of the licensing standards and requirements that other vehicles such as cars or full-sized motorcycles meet.

Senior Police Constable Tim Balls said the Department of Vehicle Licensing considers the mini bikes toys, which would normally not meet standard road regulations.

‘There is no specific law pertaining to them as an individual type of vehicle,’ he said.

Constable Balls said it’s virtually impossible for the tiny motorbikes to meet such standards and in this particular accident that occurred on Friday, the teen operating the vehicle was too young to be driving on the roads anyway.

‘It was being used illegally,’ Constable Balls said. ‘Whoever owns the vehicle is also liable.’

Mr. Balls said the RCIPS Traffic Management Unit was aware of situations where pocket bikes that were not road worthy were being used on public streets. He said those cases would be investigated where there was evidence of a vehicle’s illegal use.

‘But it boils down to lack of supervision,’ he said. ‘Who’s allowing the kids to use them?’

According to police, Friday’s accident occurred while a group of friends were taking turns riding the mini motorbike along Stepping Stone Drive in North Side when the 14-year-old lost control of the vehicle and crashed. He had to be flown to a Miami hospital for treatment.

Mini motorbikes have been banned from the roads in many North American and European countries, states and provinces. However, Mr. Balls said there were no existing regulations which allowed the vehicles to be banned from importation.

In all cases, the mini motorbikes are allowed to be used on private property in Cayman.