The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service should be congratulated on their policy regarding the implications of parents/guardians purchasing mini motorbikes, quad bikes, mini scooters, and dirt bikes for their children.
Although these vehicles are a fascinating attraction for youngsters, they are also a prescription for serious injury, death and lawsuits.
Mini motorbikes (or ‘pocket’ bikes) are actually miniature motorcycles which are extremely low to the ground and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph. Because they are so small and low to the ground, their presence on the streets cannot always be easily detected by the drivers of cars, trucks, buses, and other road-worthy vehicles.
Quad bikes or All Terrain Vehicles are intended for use on land and not on the public streets because of their design. Quad bikes do not offer the same protection as motor cars although they operate on four wheels. They have a very short wheel base and wide axles with no bumpers and next to nothing in rider protection.
Mini scooters are the least powerful in the ‘mini’ categories. However, these are of extremely fragile and flimsy construction with absolutely no protection for the rider who must keep both feet on a narrow floor-board.
Dirt bikes are designed exclusively for off-the-road use as their name implies. They have a high centre of gravity which makes them more vulnerable to skidding. They are also extremely noisy and super fast which could inspire the rider to travel ‘full throttle’ just for fun.
In addition to the dangers involved, all these vehicles are extremely noisy and could seriously impact the rider’s hearing over time.
I urge parents and guardians to heed the RCIPS warning that these vehicles can only be used on private land and never on public roads. Even so, some amount of supervision should be exercised while on private land to ensure greater safety.