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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