Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why is this legal?

This letter appears in the online Berkeley Daily Planet.


Editors, Daily Planet:

As a native Berkeleyan, I am alarmed at the number of parents riding bicycles on the public roads, towing their small children behind them in little nylon trailers. These little trailers are about wheel-high, maybe three feet off the ground. They come in one- and two-child carrying sizes.

I often see them on Ashby Avenue or Gilman or on the designated bicycle boulevards.

Parents must be aware there is danger since I often see children in little bicycle helmets or orange flags attached to the tops of the trailers themselves. I think these protective measures are woefully inadequate. I believe that these bicycle baby trailers are a tragic accident just waiting to happen. A car taking a corner too fast or simply misjudging the distance could easily kill the children contained in the baby trailer.

I don’t understand why it is illegal to drive with your toddler in the car absent car seat but it is legal to put your kid in a tiny little tent on wheels and trundle off down the road on a bike dragging them behind.

The Berkeley City Council should pass a law to protect these children by ruling that these types of bicycle trailers are only appropriate for park and trail like settings. They should be barred from the public roads.

Amanda Duisman

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At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree! However, just as dangerous are those strollers that people push kids around in---newborns often. They are safe in parks and walking trails, but people should not be allowed to push their children in these across roads where cars drive. Children are woefully unprotected in these devices, and unlike the bicycle trailer users the letter mentions, adults do not even put helmets on their children when they push them across the road. There should be a law to stop this behavior!

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous those dudes said...

same reason it's legal to put a kid in a car seat and drive them around. what a dumb question.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's your answer that's dumb, even for a bike nut. Do you really believe that a child strapped into a car seat in the back seat is at equal risk to a child in one of those canvas trailers?

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous those dudes said...

the title of your post "why is this legal" is dumb.

why is it legal to walk down the street with a child in a stroller, or carrying one, when they risk being hit and killed by a car? why is it legal to put a child in a car and transport them, when car crashes consistently are the leading cause of death for children in america?

get a clue rob.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that a parent towing a kid in a bike trailer is in much less danger of killing a kid being towed in a bike trailer.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it legal to drive down the road, putting cyclists with baby-buggies in mortal danger?

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How often have you heard about a kid hurt or killed in a bike trailer? Now how often do you hear about kids being killed in car accidents?

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The baby-trailer thing's just the camel's noze under da tent.

How come we allow the kid seat above the rear whell of bikers?

And how come we allow kids to ride those death traps?

And how come we allow KMart and Walmart and the local "Bike" shop to sell these inherently hazardous contraptious devices?

It's evil, EVIL!

Think of the children! The tiny, precious, innocent CHILDREN!

Ban them NOW, I say ** NOW ** and safe THE CHILDREN from this looming DISASTER !!

Anyone can see it!

It's so obvious, but they've blinded us, BLIND!!

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous murphstahoe said...

I think the answer is banning children. Why are children legal? The leading cause of death is being born.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mr. Yoshimoto said...

I've thought the same thing, it completely freaks me out to see one of those trailers on a busy road. I'm sure it's fun for the kids, but I almost swerve into oncoming traffic when I have to pass one.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Yoshimoto:

Maybe you should think about how much you really "have" to pass if it means going into oncoming traffic...

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous those dudes said...

The real safety problem on our streets:

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

There's been an arrest in this case. And some followup.

16-year-old girl, talking on a cell phone, blew through a red light. Cute. Let's go regulate the cyclists so this doesn't happen again!


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