What Would You Do: Keeping Kids Safe On Bikes?

bikes bicycles

Living in a tight-knit community has its perks (last minute babysitters you can count on, neighbors who will lend you the lawnmower, bars where everyone knows your name), but sometimes wanting to be neighborly can pose as many challenges as living somewhere without personal ties.

What Would You Do is a place to discuss difficult neighborhood issues–problems you run into around your neck of the woods, when it’s okay to step in, and how to do it most effectively without sacrificing the relationships you’ve built over the years. If you have a topic you’d like addressed in the series, let us know (we’ll keep you anonymous, we promise!) at editor@ditmasparkcorner.com.

We’ve all seen it–kids riding their bikes around unencumbered by safety gear, or adults riding theirs down busy traffic corridors with kids perched precariously on the crossbar. While New York law mandates that children under 13 wear approved bike helmets and kids hitching a ride with parents be strapped into an actual child carrier, those rules aren’t always actually followed–whether it’s by unsupervised kids having a good, carefree time, or by their parents who likely better understand the concept of mortality.

What’s your feeling when you witness such situations? For one, do you agree with the laws–or do you think the state has no place telling people what to do with their (or their kids’) heads?

If you think safety gear should be worn, does that go for just bikes, or, say, kick scooters too? And if you saw a young child without a helmet, or riding somewhere unsafe, unsupervised or with an adult, would you step in? What if an adult was carting a child around without an affixed child seat?

Is it appropriate to tell a parent how to keep a child safe in this case, or do etiquette considerations go out the window when a kid is put in danger on the streets? Let us know below, and if you or your child is in need of a bike helmet, you can pick one up for free next Tuesday, May 13, from 4-6:30pm at the Central Library (10 Grand Army Plaza between Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue) while supplies last.

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