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Would you let your kid ride a motorcycle?

Posted by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM
  • 159 Replies

Toddler Who Died Riding on Back of Motorcycle Didn't Stand a Chance

by Kiri Blakeley 

This is a tragic story involving a 4-year-old girl who died. But it's also a story that had me scratching my head. Because the little girl, Breann Creer, from California, died tragically while riding on the back of her mother's boyfriend's Harley-Davidson. It happened when the semi-truck in front of them suddenly did a U-Turn and the bike had to slide underneath the car. The passenger, little Breann, died. While this sounds horrific and makes you wonder what the HELL a toddler was doing on the back of a Harley -- apparently it is not necessarily illegal.

Reportedly, the person who did the U-Turn (which was apparently also not illegal) was riding in a tractor-trailer. When the motorbike rammed underneath the truck, it became stuck. Witnesses said that the driver kept driving with the bike underneath it, unaware that he was dragging the little girl and the adult driver.

Finally, witnesses' screams made him stop. According to a woman who checked the little girl's pulse, Eric Henderson, the man riding the motorcycle, who is a Marine and dating Breann's mother, kept saying, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Breathe, baby."

But it was tragically too late. Investigators said it's unclear if Henderson will be charged in the accident -- it will all depend if the girl, who was wearing a helmet, met the legal requirements to be riding on the back of a bike.

According to California law, a child can ride on the back of a motorcycle if he or she is no longer required to be in a car seat and the child's feet can reach the passenger foot pegs. That law was recently modified in January to require that child restraints be used in children up to 8 years old or until the child reaches 4 feet, 9 inches.

Even if she met the requirements -- I can say definitively this is something I would never let a toddler do. I doubt I'd let a teen do it.

While traveling in India a few years ago, I saw that toddlers on motorcycles were a norm. In fact, so were babies. But I honestly had no idea this was going on here too. And I won't soon forget the vision of my mom crashing her moped when I was a kid -- with my young sister strapped into a seat on the back. (Both were okay.)

But Breann's dad, Thomas Creer, also a Marine, told a local TV station that he doesn't blame Eric Henderson, saying: "I don't think he would do anything intentionally to put her in harm's way at all."

No doubt it wasn't intentional. No doubt Henderson is devastated. It's tragic. Just not the choice I personally would have made.

But many others disagree -- check out the comments section on one of the media reports. Motorcycle fans are out in full force defending their right to bring tots on bikes.

Would you let your kid ride a motorcycle?

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by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM
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Replies (1-10):
rugratsmommy4
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM
3 moms liked this

DH will take the kids for a ride on the back of his but ONLY in the empty lot next to our house.  I wont let him go fast enough to lift his feet off the ground when he has them on their with him.  As for them getting on the back to leave with daddy on a road, HELL NO!!  If dh ever did that he knows I would kick his ass and divorce him in a heartbeat for putting my kids in harms way.  I've been on the back of his bike for a trip and I know how dangerous it could be for a child to be on the back of it.

sarahbell811
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Ummm no way. That's so sad :(

disastermind
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:28 AM

No, I wouldn't. I would worry they wouldn't hold on tight enough and fall off or they'd hit a bump and they'd fall.

This is so sad. I'm sure the boyfriend never thought anything like this would happen. That poor girl and her family. What a shame.

cateringtomel
by Anna_Elijah on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:30 AM
How sad.
Probably not.
I rode first time @ 13.
mom011598
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM

No. I read this story yesterday and now seeing her picture breaks my heart. I have a child her age.

imakehimscream
by He screams on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM
No but my dad bought me a mo ped for my 10th birthday
petamarie
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this

DD has just started going for rides with her Dad. She's 6 1/2 and tall enough for her feet to reach the pillion pegs. We're well aware of the risks, but we're ok with it .....

ESF
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Nope.  And definitely NOT at 4.  

Here's the thing.  I get that "maybe" they were close to home, running a quick errand, just going for a spin.  But what I was always taught, is that YOU CAN'T TRUST THE OTHER GUY!  Motorcycle accidents are often NOT the fault of the motorcycle drive, but of the driver of a vehicle who didn't see them.  

So, while there are LOTS of ways to be hurt or killed (yes, I understand this) being on the back of a motorcycle is a QUICKER way to do so, simply b/c of lack of protection, versus the protection you "might" have in a vehicle. 

My children will NOT be allowed to ride on a motorcycle until they are over 18.  Even then, if I'm paying for college, etc....I will STILL push hard for them to NOT do it.  I was raised that way, and I did it a few times anyway.  What an idiot I was.  Hopping on the back of one with a 16 year old boy, who was a speed demon and trying to show off.  Just too many things that could go wrong. 

And again, I realize that you can lose a child to drowing (yet I let them swim) in a MVA (yet I drive them in my car) I get the argument.  I'm just taking out one extra way, to lose them.  Senselessly. 

mamav2215
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:35 AM

my husband would probably say no, but I would say yes.

I grew up on the back of a motorcycle. My parents were huge harley riders. My dad would only take my sister's younger kids on it in the yard.

My niece is 16 and just went on her first long trip (day trip) with my dad and had a blast. I would however be very cautious and picky about who I let take my kid, and when i say picky, i mean... probably just my dad. I have 100% trust in him to be safe and smart with himself and my child. 

mamav2215
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM

i'm not disagreeing with you, but one thing I do think is important to point out... when you make it taboo to do... you have kids like yourself doing it with irresponsible drivers. I am in no way saying, "so let your kid get on an adult's bike"  i'm just saying it's a tough one. You gotta teach safety and it's hard to do when you don't allow them near them.  


Quoting ESF:

Nope.  And definitely NOT at 4.  

Here's the thing.  I get that "maybe" they were close to home, running a quick errand, just going for a spin.  But what I was always taught, is that YOU CAN'T TRUST THE OTHER GUY!  Motorcycle accidents are often NOT the fault of the motorcycle drive, but of the driver of a vehicle who didn't see them.  

So, while there are LOTS of ways to be hurt or killed (yes, I understand this) being on the back of a motorcycle is a QUICKER way to do so, simply b/c of lack of protection, versus the protection you "might" have in a vehicle. 

My children will NOT be allowed to ride on a motorcycle until they are over 18.  Even then, if I'm paying for college, etc....I will STILL push hard for them to NOT do it.  I was raised that way, and I did it a few times anyway.  What an idiot I was.  Hopping on the back of one with a 16 year old boy, who was a speed demon and trying to show off.  Just too many things that could go wrong. 

And again, I realize that you can lose a child to drowing (yet I let them swim) in a MVA (yet I drive them in my car) I get the argument.  I'm just taking out one extra way, to lose them.  Senselessly. 



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