Offroading kids need to be transported

Retired constable Tim Schewe offers traffic advice in this week's column.

As a parent, I know that children will do things that they are not supposed to, even after you caution them not to and explain what the consequences might be for disobeying. It takes effort and a sense of responsibility to follow up and make sure that the rules are followed. However, after watching some young motorcyclists in Ladysmith the other day, I began to wonder how often out of sight, out of mind was the way some parents operate.

We are very fortunate that we can buy — or even that our children can afford to own — a motorcycle or ATV. Even more fortunate are those children whose parents care enough to participate in the use of these machines and ensure that they are used properly and lawfully. If your property is not large enough, then the machines and their riders need to be legally transported to a place that is.

Given the number of times that I have seen incidents involving bikes over the years, it is clear that some parents simply turn their children loose to ride as they choose and don’t consider the consequences. We may think about them getting hurt, or perhaps being fined for improper use, but the possibilities don’t end there. If these riders were to cause a collision on the highway they are not insured, and the victims or the courts may expect the parents to pay.

The next time your child sets out on their motorcycle or other ATV you need to know where they are going and how they are going to get there. It doesn’t take much thought to know if they can accomplish the trip without riding on or across a highway. If they cannot manage this, it is up to you to make sure that you get them to an appropriate setting to use the machine safely.

Cst. Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit drivesmartbc.ca.