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In thinking a 4 year old shouldn't be on the road

23 replies

wheelsortyres · 01/08/2017 12:53

On a bike. He's only just 4 and has only just learned how to ride so is wobbly.

I drove past him and his dad on the main road where we live. He was wearing a helmet. He was on the outside of the road riding next to his Dad (so nearest the traffic).

We have a speed limit of 30 and roads are very narrow and windy.

So two aibu- first one is - is this actually ok and I'm being ott? Second- should I mention something to the kid's Mum? I can see dh doing something this stupid and would expect my friends to tell me if they saw it.

OP posts:

Birdsgottaf1y · 01/08/2017 13:00

I'd put it to his Mum as "it's good he is so confident that he'll ride on the road".

You may get replies to tell you to MYOB, but (particularly) Dads do stupid/dangerous stuff with their too-young children. This is verified by statistics around the amount of children that die in their Dads care.


TheSparrowhawk · 01/08/2017 13:01

It's absolutely nuts. I don't know about telling the mum - maybe you could just say 'I saw X out riding with his dad - he's very confident on the road!' and see what she says?


AmyGardner · 01/08/2017 13:01

I don't think you should tell on a parent, to the other parent, no.

It might not be how you would do things, but that's life really.


TheSparrowhawk · 01/08/2017 13:03

I don't agree Amy - having a wobbly child out on a bike on a narrow windy road is very very dangerous. I think it's worth trying at least to find out if the mum is ok with it. If the OP hears the poor child has been injured or killed while riding - imagine how she'll feel!


hmcAsWas · 01/08/2017 13:04

What birdsgottafly and Sparrowhawk said - tell the mum indirectly.

And yes, its completely mad


Mama234 · 01/08/2017 13:14

That is so dangerous! Yes I think you should mention it to his mum. Could both parents really be that stupid? There's a chance she isn't, I would mention it to her how pp has said.


wheelsortyres · 01/08/2017 13:23

Good ideas. I'm seeing her this morning so will casually mention how great it is he's riding with his Dad now.

OP posts:

AmyGardner · 01/08/2017 14:34

Yes, and the parent in charge clearly deemed it an acceptable risk to take. Who is a random passer by to go and tell tales? If anyone told my husband on me for my parenting choice I'd be beyond furious!


Littlebitshort · 01/08/2017 15:13

A wobbly 4 year old in the road.....yes you most definately should mention it to the mother asap and maybe even said something to the father there and then? They may take offence but at least you know you have tried to avoid a terrible accident. Im not sure why you wouldnt say anything? Id rather an offended parent than a squished child Confused


hmcAsWas · 01/08/2017 16:06

Agree Littlebitshort but I think AmyGardner would rather a squished child than an offended parent Confused


Hatethinkingofusernames82 · 01/08/2017 16:09

If you think the mum doesn't know then you could mention something but my 4 yr old has been riding his bike on the road since January. He was only 3.5 when he learnt to ride his bike and has never needed stabilisers and is great on his bike. All children are different!


ChelleDawg2020 · 01/08/2017 16:12

Erm, well if he's riding a bicycle, he most definitely should be on the road! The pavement is for pedestrians, not cyclists. If the child is learning to ride, it might be better for them to practice on private land - but otherwise, they should take their chances on the road.


minicheddars90 · 01/08/2017 16:13

I saw a young child, must have been primary school age, cycling around central London last week just outside St Pancras.

Who I assume was the Mum was cycling behind and giving instructions, just seemed so dangerous though!


FlaviaAlbia · 01/08/2017 16:14

I'd say something to the mum too.

DS has been riding a pedal bike since the start of the summer, he's nearly the same age and can ride ok but he still has moments when he just doesn't follow instructions and he isn't as aware of dangers as he'd be when he's older. We take him to parks and forest paths, there's no way we'd let him ride on the outside of a country road. It wouldn't be safe.


Cheerybigbottom · 01/08/2017 16:30

Wow I'm gobsmacked at a child so young riding on the road, nearest to traffic. A few years ago I was on a bus and a child about 6 was riding a bike on the path then suddenly fell over into the gutter in front of the bus. Bus swerved and parent hoiked child up very quickly but it's a 'what if' situation that stuck in my mind.


Littlebitshort · 01/08/2017 17:08

I know all children are different and i understand that some are quite confident riders at 4 but I think the issue here is that the OP stated that the child was 'wobbly' and was on the outside nearest the traffic. If at that time she felt concerned then she should go with her gut feeling and say something.


BannedFromNarnia · 01/08/2017 17:14

@ChelleDawg2020 Tricky area, this one. Technically the law is that no one is to cycle on the pavement, but if they child is under 10 they're below the age of criminal responsbility so they can't be prosecuted for it.

And personally speaking as a pedestrian and a driver, I would far rather have kids on the pavement than on the road. They take up far less space on the pavement than an adult and don't cycle like twats (on the whole!), whereas on the road they're very unpredictable, even with a parent, and so much more likely to get hit as they're less visible.


AmyGardner · 01/08/2017 17:42

Well little of course I don't want a squished child Hmm but seeing as there are more than two possible outcomes and this is a conversation...

Honestly, if a stranger knocked on my door to tell me what she thought about my husband taking our kids out cycling, I have no idea what I'd say. I think my face would look like Confused for a good week anyway.


Littlebitshort · 01/08/2017 18:05

OP did you say you were friends with the mum? Maybe you wouldnt sound too scatty if you mentioned it to her politely on passing.


StillDrivingMeBonkers · 01/08/2017 18:08

Dads do stupid/dangerous stuff with their too-young childrenThis is verified by statistics around the amount of children that die in their Dads care.

Have you got a viable link to substantiate that? I'd like to see the comparisons of child related deaths dependent on the parents gender.


minisoksmakehardwork · 02/08/2017 07:26

The only concern I would have with this is that dad was on the inside. Imo the child should have been.

Children have to learn road safety and imo they should do this from the start, Rather than relying on them remembering when they are old enough to go it alone.

Paths are often no safer than roads if they have a number of dropped kerbs, overhanging hedges etc.

If it's fine for runners to be on the road for the consistent running surface, I'd apply the same logic for children.


Highlyinternational · 02/08/2017 11:22


...This is verified by statistics around the amount of children that die in their Dads care ...

That's a pointless statement. Do you oppose it against the amount of kids that die in their mother's care, or other primary caregiver? Hmm


MipMipMip · 02/08/2017 11:36

I'd be worried about the kid being on the outside. If you can have the chat OP then go for it.

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