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The motorcyclist in front has a young child riding pillion

(36 Posts)
Temporaryname137 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:46:05

(Note, I'm in a cab, not driving whilst typing!!)

We're travelling along one of the busiest roads in London and the traffic is actually moving for once (love Fridays when lots of schools are off) - and the vehicle in front is a motorbike with a child riding pillion. The child is small but big enough to reach the footpeg (although s/he seems more interested in sticking his/her feet out at the moment).

It has really surprised me - ok so I'm not a biker and fully prepared to be told I am overreacting, but would (i) you take a child on a motorbike and (ii) through Central London where so many bikers, motor and pedal, get into tangles with lorries and buses?

Daytona79 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:59:13

Legal requirements is pillion must be able to reach foot pegs so what there doing is allowed

That said as a life long biker long with my husband and a mother of two over my death body would I allow either of my kids on the back of my motorcycle

It's idiotic.

The amount of car drivers driving around in a little bubble makes biking so bloody dangerous. But that's a whole other rant :-)

So no to me you are not overeating, kids shouldn't be on motorbikes, not unless you want them killed or injured

When it comes to biking it's not if you have a accident it's when
I was told that by my test examiner and he is right.

SandyY2K Fri 06-Jan-17 09:00:09

I have seen a child as a pillion passenger before and was quite horrified TBH. I googled it to see if there was a minimum age and there wasn't. I couldn't believe it.

Temporaryname137 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:05:36

Ha Daytona, you are unknowingly right - if there is one thing I AM doing, it's overeating!!! grin

Bringbackpublicfloggings Fri 06-Jan-17 09:08:00

As a long time biker, I would never allow either of my children on the the back of a motorbike, I have been in a few accidents myself and I have witnessed plenty. I definitely think there should be an age limit.

5OBalesofHay Fri 06-Jan-17 09:10:59

Perfectly legal and parents' decision so YABU.

AveEldon Fri 06-Jan-17 09:13:35

In London they will be lucky to be going over 15 mph

smEGGnogg Fri 06-Jan-17 09:15:02

Husband is a biker and would say the same. Stupid but not illegal, unfortunately.
He also gets pissed off by cheap/poor quality riding gear that people put on kids for things like this with the excuse that it's a 5 minute journey or they don't use them that often. He says buy the most expensive safety equipment you can afford, you can live without an arm or a leg but you can't live without a head.

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Jan-17 09:31:38

I see this every morning on my school crossing and it makes my heart leap.

A bloke takes his son to school on the back of his motorbike. The boy (although really little) can reach the foot rests, but his dad is quite fat and the little boy can only just put his arms around him enough to barely hold him either side.

Add to that the fact the little boy wears thick gloves, and I can't understand how he can keep any kind of grip.

But it's legal.

lovelearning Fri 06-Jan-17 09:36:43

buy the most expensive safety equipment you can afford

smEGGnogg's husband

Motorcyclists, in particular, have the highest accident and injury rates per mile travelled of all road user groups.

Facts on Motorcyclist Casualties

JungleInTheRumble Fri 06-Jan-17 09:37:49

Worra have you riden on the back of a bike? It's surprising how little grip you need. I'd often have my hands on my knees or just resting on the riders back/hips.

Whether I'd let my child go on the back of a bike - probably not. Too many inatentive drivers. But like anything it's an assessment of risk. Some things I'd do I'm sure others would deem not worth the risk.

Lateralthinker2016 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:39:10

Most bikers are extremely careful.... and it sounds legal to me so you are BU.... If anything, one of the biggest dangers to any biker and his passenger are the other road users... Esp if they are anything like the a$$holes round here who don't know what a fkn indicator is!!!!!

Temporaryname137 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:42:47

I think perhaps that was why it bothered me, jungle. The parent here has made that decision for the child.

I have friends who are bikers (none who would take their kids though) and friends who are doctors. The latter refer to motorbikes as "organdonorcycles". I just don't see how anyone could trust the traffic and drivers in London and expose a child in that way. Even if it is slow moving, accidents can still happen -- there's a spot on ken high street where a motorcyclist was killed recently by a lorry turning left - awful.

I guess not that many parents do it as otherwise I wouldn't have been so surprised when I saw this one.

SeasickCrocodile Fri 06-Jan-17 09:43:00

When I met DH he used to take his son to school on his motorbike. DSS was 6 at the time. I just couldn't bear it and he stopped taking him. I thought it was positively nuts. None of the others have ever been on it. It was my very first stepmother pushback moment!

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Jan-17 09:43:32

I have, Jungle although not for over 20 years.

But one thing I do remember is the thrust. As an adult I was always aware and ready for it.

But I'm not sure a small child would be, especially if they can't see past/grip the rider properly.

I'm probably worrying over nothing but it still makes my heart go weird, when I see them both.

JungleInTheRumble Fri 06-Jan-17 09:50:33

That's true. I hadn't thought about the acceleration. You'd hope the dad would remember they had the kid on the back and warn them in advance or accelerate slowly.

gleam Fri 06-Jan-17 09:56:09

I went on my Dad's bike as a child pillion. It was fine (and fun!) Back then, no helmet for me either, although traffic was a hell of a lot lighter.

There's often a strap on the seat that you can use to hold on, btw.

PaulDacresConscience Fri 06-Jan-17 10:06:51

I hate seeing this - but round here we have the bloody idiot moped and sports bike dickheads. A compulsory uniform of jogging bottoms, no helmet and entitled attitude. A considerable number of them will pop a small child on the front whilst they are doing their laps of the surrounding streets. The Police cannot do anything about it as they are not allowed to chase them by car for H&S reasons - in case the riders injure themselves whilst trying to evade capture. Only the official off-road unit are allowed to pursue, but there are only 2 bikes to cover the entire county - and even on the rare occasions where the bikes are at the local station, by the time they have got out here the idiots have disappeared.

myfavouritecolourispurple Fri 06-Jan-17 10:12:30

I think it's more dangerous to put small children on the back of pushbikes. If you get hit, you may be able to jump clear. They can't.

At least a child on a motorbike is bigger, more aware of what's going on and may have a chance of jumping clear.

The main issue is car drivers have no awareness of anything that is not another car. But a motorbike is a lot more practical on the clogged streets of London (the congestion charge could do with being a bit higher).

goinglocomoto Fri 06-Jan-17 10:24:20

What a coincidence, was thinking about this just this morning while scootering to work (also London).

Rationally, I don't think it's much different to taking a child on the back of a bicycle. If you ride safely the statistics are similar. And as others have said, you don't need to grip to stay on. But yes, the big difference is that if there was an emergency break/swerve, they may not know how to react, and if you do crash, it would be at a higher speed, albeit by just a few mph in London traffic.

So no, I wouldn't do it - couldn't forgive myself if something happened.

I also think it may give the child an early taste for biking, which might make them more likely to take it up when they're older. That would scare the living daylights out of me (yes I'm a big hypocrite!)

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Jan-17 10:26:26

I agree. In city traffic I think a child on the back of a motorbike would be safer than a child on the back of a bicycle (given equally careful riders) and I see people with kids on the back of a bike all the time.

Minivaperviper Fri 06-Jan-17 10:31:51

I've seen it before but I don't think it's a common thing to do even if it's legal. Adults in an potential accident know what safety precautions to take on a bike while a child may not or not be able to do effectively.

So I wouldn't do it personally.

YelloDraw Fri 06-Jan-17 10:41:22

What about kids on the back/front of push bikes or on cargo bikes? More or less dangerous? Won't have as good head protection on that is for sure.

Also, I would have thought that driving style makes a big difference in risk. Isn't most of the reason why motorbikes get hit is that they are faster and move in ways which are less predictable and harder to see than a car?

If you are in traffic and aren't filtering or that kind of thing, is it as big a risk? Obviously of you DO get hit the consequences are more severe but is the liklylhood particually different?

lovelearning Fri 06-Jan-17 10:47:20

If you ride safely the statistics are similar

Motorcyclist casualty rates are much higher than other road users

Despite forming only 1% of road traffic

motorcyclists account for 22% of road deaths and serious injuries

Frusso Fri 06-Jan-17 10:48:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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