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Would you let your kid ride a motorcycle?

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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?

Click here for video

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM
Replies (151-159):
Cassidysmom611
by Gold Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 7:43 AM

I would not... the other day I saw a young boy probably 10-11 on the back of his Dads bike, and I was so worried the little boy was going to let go.


sundevilmom
by Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 7:48 AM

No way! My youngest is not supposed to ride a motorcycle anyway because she has 1 kidney...per her Oncologist she cannot ride a motorcycle, play football or play xtreme sports.  I am not willing to risk the safety of her one and only kidney for a ride...sorry, but it's not worth it (to my anyway).

 

heidi749
by Canadian on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I have, my DS is 8 and has had a mini quad since 6.. There is always going to be a chance of an accident happening, which I hope will not happen, but I can not let him be in a bubble either. 

Amber5151
by on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:14 AM
I let him ride in back yards on my SO's bike but never on the road (yet) he does have a dirtbike he rides daily in our field but not on the road. I have no problem with motorcycles but since he is still in a booster he can't ride on the road yet. My oldest ds will be six in a few days
ratchetlee
by on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:21 AM

No, I would not!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 30 on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM

When my 21yo DD was...15 we went down to my uncle's house for boxing day celebrations. DD has various mild physical conditions and is ASD. My family spent the whole day undoing the rules and boundaries I had set up. I went to the toilet, leaving my DS4 with an aunt and when I got out of the toilet, she had taken him to DD and demanded that she show some maturity and watch him. DD allowed him to walk away across the motorbike track (fortunetely about 20 seconds before the bikes started coming in) and into the house with no supervision. I told DD that the only way she was allowed to ride one of the bikes was if my uncle took her, but unknown to all of us, my uncle took some drugs and told my DD that I had allowed her 13yo cousin to take her, who then proceeded to go screaming through the farm like an idiot while my DD screamed at him to let her off and almost fell off several times...Yeah - we haven't gone there in years. 

ESF
by Bronze Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I TOTALLY agree with you!  I WAS allowed on the back of a bike with an uncle, a time or two, in a small town, and to go around the block, etc.  And you are correct.  There is such a fine line, between forbidding and trying to teach that it isn't a choice you want them to make.  The only thing I can say is that while on that bike, I was terrified of my parents finding out, or someone seeing me and telling, so I got off fairly quickly!  But I hear you! 

Quoting mamav2215:

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. 





alexsmomaubrys2
by Ruby Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

No. 

We've been teaching them since they were little about how dangerous motorcycles are and how they are NEVER allowed to get on one. 

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mamav2215
by on Aug. 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Maybe that's why I feel the way I do too... I grew up in a small town and it was easy to do these thigns a little more safely than a large town. I had replied earlier that I would only let me kid ride with my dad; because I have complete trust in him to not only keep himself safe but my child. So similiar to your situation with you uncle. And i definitely know whatw you mean about being afraid to get "caught" small town... you get away with nothing :) 


Quoting ESF:

I TOTALLY agree with you!  I WAS allowed on the back of a bike with an uncle, a time or two, in a small town, and to go around the block, etc.  And you are correct.  There is such a fine line, between forbidding and trying to teach that it isn't a choice you want them to make.  The only thing I can say is that while on that bike, I was terrified of my parents finding out, or someone seeing me and telling, so I got off fairly quickly!  But I hear you! 

Quoting mamav2215:

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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