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Scooters - end of mum & dad taxi services?

(22 Posts)
TheHolyGrail Wed 03-Sep-08 08:32:38

DS1 is 16 and needs to get around, quite locally for part time job & evening sports. Buses round here are a real joke.

A scooter would make much more independance but scary thoughts about bad drivers (my younger brother has had 2 quite big accidents both not his fault - last one just got cleared through coronors court sad but his bike was smashed up again and time off work etc.

Would be glad not to have to be a taxi service but not sure on safety, he is a sensible lad and of course would do all the training etc.

Or do we wait a year and get car lessons sorted (that also has its own potential issues, car shares etc etc)

mumblechum Wed 03-Sep-08 08:38:57

Depends what the roads are like round your way.

It's all narrow twisty lanes round here with arrogantfuckwit-- four wheel drivers hammering round corners on the wrong side of the road, so personally I'll be waiting till ds can drive.

If your roads are quite suburban roads it may be safer

mumblechum Wed 03-Sep-08 08:39:34

Quiet not quite

Cies Wed 03-Sep-08 08:43:45

I agree that it can often be other drivers causing problems, although young boys do have a bad reputation as well (not saying your ds).

If you do go the scooter route, don't skimp on reflective gear, helmet etc. And make sure he wears it always.

TheHolyGrail Wed 03-Sep-08 08:50:32

Its narrow twisty roads up to next small town where he has a part time job and town is FULL of roundabouts - some are even magic wink.

Of course would do full safety stuff, still insist that he wears helmet for cycling.

Interested in views of thise that have let them have a fizzy scooter at 16.

Tortington Wed 03-Sep-08 08:57:08

i would no way in hell allow my children to be in charge of a scooter at 16 - for their safety.

misdee Wed 03-Sep-08 09:05:31

nope. dont like scooters for 16year olds. what wrong with a normal bicycle?

the amount of young men (because i rarely see girls on them) riding around on them in shorts and t-shirts scares me. if they come off those thing they are likely to have their skn sandpapered off by the road.

NomDePlume Wed 03-Sep-08 09:06:17

I'm with custy. My 16yo DS1 is constantly nagging for one, "but all my mates have one" [pouty face], tough shit. He will kill himself on it. He can barely walk in a straight line.

Bluestocking Wed 03-Sep-08 09:06:40

Do you know what doctors call teenagers on scooters? They call them donors.

Tortington Wed 03-Sep-08 09:06:53

my 18 year old walks 30 mins there and 30 mins back to his job

Shoshe Wed 03-Sep-08 09:18:50

I had a scooter at 16, as did DH, we both rode motorbikes for years, (DH is in fact a motorbike display rider in the army)

Would I let my 16 year old have one.

No Way.

Not with all the training and safety equipment in the world.

Wait another year, do his driving lessons and get him a smart car. (2 seater so he cant fill it with friends.)

That is what we are doing with DGD.

NomDePlume Wed 03-Sep-08 09:20:30

but smart cars are horribly unsafe too. They are so tall and thin that the handling is awful. If you take a corner too fast in them you just roll over.

Shoshe Wed 03-Sep-08 09:30:42

NomDePlume do you have one?

DH has been looking into them and thought it would be a good first car, would be intrested to know if they are not.

might start a thread!!

NomDePlume Wed 03-Sep-08 09:33:10

No way. I test drove one and have had one as a courtesy car. AWFUL.

If you start a thread I suspect you'll get lots of 'they're really cool' and 'cute' and whatnot answers. I agree that the aesthetics are not so bad but the truth is thet they are terrible where it is important (how they actually drive).

chopchopbusybusy Wed 03-Sep-08 09:39:20

I'd say wait another year and help with driving lessons and car if you can. We live in a town with a crapvery basic bus service and lots of 16 and 17 year olds have scooters - I think there is even some sort of scheme to provide them cheaplyshock. DDs won't be having one though. I know what you mean about the taxi service, but if it's very local I'd tell him to walk or cycle and for the job in the neighbouring village I'd continue to drive him.

PurlyQueen Wed 03-Sep-08 09:55:47

I have had a Smart car for over two years and I love it. I have never, ever felt unsafe in it and I have driven it everywhere from the middle of town to motorways. Needless to say, it has never rolled over, either.

It is fantastic for driving in central London - it's quick, nippy, easy to manouvre and you can always find a parking space smile.

snorkle Wed 03-Sep-08 11:00:58

when is the age of learning to drive going up to 18 by the way? And are they raiseing the scooter age then too?

nancy75 Wed 03-Sep-08 11:07:30

i would never let my child have scooter or motorbike. my cousin had an accident on a scooter, travelling at very slow speed, the bike slipped on oil in the road, he was in a coma for months and is now paralised(sp?) from the neck down. he was not in any way a boy racer, he had all safety stuff on.
i hate to be the voice of doom and gloom but like i said i would never let my kid have one.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 03-Sep-08 17:38:31

DS1 (21) had a 50cc moped (not a scooter, a kind of traily-type bike) at 16, rode for a year with no problems. After passing his test on a borrowed 125, he then ran a 250 and is now on a 600. He also has a car.

DS2 (18) is currently using the same bike because his 125 is in need of repairs.

We live rurally, and to access town/village it's a 4 or 5 mile run, mostly on a 60mph A road but with half a mile of narrow, twisty back road. Public transport is a joke, especially at night, and tbh I think the boys were safer on bikes than on buses, with knife-carrying drunks.

I'm actually more worried about the fact the bike is restricted to just over 30mph than the fact it's a two-wheeler, but it'd be safer in town.

"Safety stuff" isn't some kind of optional extra btw - they're not allowed on the roads until they have passed Compulsory Basic Training, and a crash helmet is compulsory. I would further advise good quality gloves, boots and protective clothing, and as much fluorescent/retroreflective gear as you can pile onto a 16 year old.

I'm not going to say it's all been great - spilt diesel is a hazard, as is gravel/piles of wet leaves on corners - and both boys have had not-their-fault accidents but no serious injuries.

On the positive side, they've learned good road sense, they have independence, 50cc bikes use surprisingly little fuel and they both started building up no-claims bonuses for the future - which will make a big difference.

DS2 is taking his car test in a couple of weeks and we'll be buying him a car soon after, because I'd prefer him to be in a tin box when the winter comes in, but tbh I'm really more concerned about the "giving lifts to friends" thing that then arises. He's a sensible lad but I worry about a car-load of rowdy teenagers being a bit of a distraction.

But, he's an adult now, I just have to trust him.

TheHolyGrail Wed 03-Sep-08 17:55:23

OLKN - thanks for the post, a bit of balance. Walking / bike is not really an option for him - work is 6 miles, along dark country lanes - bicycle may be OK but he is waiter and needs clean / ironed clothes. Then he does trips in evening for table tennis so 2 buses needed to get across town, a right PITA. Will discuss options he has not asked directly and would not push this onto him but independence and road awareness are good skills to build up.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 03-Sep-08 19:12:23

We're in similar situations then - I think the boys are safer on powered bikes than on foot (no pavements, no streetlights) or on a pushbike. Certainly suggest a 50cc to him and see what he thinks.

I'd actually make it compulsory for everybody to spend a year on a 50cc moped before being allowed to drive a car to learn a little road-sense, but hey ho.

One thing I'd add is that I think a "proper bike"-type moped is safer than a scooter - I hate those little tiny wheels. But that's a personal preference. grin

For those who mention accidents and so forth - yes, there's a proportionately higher risk of injury (mostly because of car drivers who don't fucking look angry) but it's not as if no-one ever died in a car crash. DS1 has buried three friends in the past four years, all from car crashes, and DS2 buried a friend last week after a pushbike accident. Although we're a family of bikers, we haven't lost anyone to a bike accident in the past twenty years. (There have been injuries.)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 03-Sep-08 19:15:33

Ooops, forgot the friend of DS1 who died in a housefire. Nothing's 100% safe.

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