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Fla. 8-Year-Old Gets Traffic Ticket For Bike Mishap(11 posts)

Fla. 8-Year-Old Gets Traffic Ticket For Bike Mishapgala7516
Oct 25, 2003 4:52 AM
Teach your kids early...this kid got what he deserved. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt.
pure insanityCrankist
Oct 25, 2003 5:57 AM
Well at least mostly insane. Agreed that the kid made a mistake. Agreed that his parents are liable, and should have had a helmet on his head. I can even understand that a ticket has to be issued.

But what keeps rolling around in my head is a vision of a toddler, out of Mom's sight for a moment, heads for the street and causes an accident. Now some fine uniformed cop comes along, kneels- maybe wiping a bit of baby food from the perps mouth- and begins reading Miranda rights as he dutifully issues that citation: "Home address? How is that gurgle spelled miss?". All this while mom is trying to change a Pamper (or two)...and little Lucinda just won't sit still!
I wonder if his mom feels she needs to teach him anything...NatC
Oct 25, 2003 6:33 AM
or if he was "just being a kid" riding out into the street in front of a car? She said that he's only 8 years old and therefore doesn't understand right of way, but has he been taught not to dart out into the street when a car's coming?
IMHO, I agree...coonass
Oct 25, 2003 6:44 AM
if the kid's timing had been a split second different, he would have probably been seriously injured or killed and Mom & Dad would be suing the Nissan driver for being in the 'landing zone' of a biker. He could have also caused the Nissan to swerve into the path of another car which would have created another scenerio....based on the article, the parents definitely need to be responsible; hopefully they even have insurance and don't have to spend their beer money.
Had one of those here yesterdaypedalAZ
Oct 25, 2003 9:49 AM
A car entering the through street from a side street failed to yield, so the car witht he right of way swerved to avoid the collision, got hit anyway, and then ricocheted straight over the curb and into 4 pedestrians, killing them all.

Seems the cop was wise to issue the ticket.
Did you say "Dad"? (nm)53T
Oct 27, 2003 8:03 AM
I've got no problem with the cop...biknben
Oct 25, 2003 9:12 AM
Sure, we all jumped ramps when we were kids and messed around on our bikes. We did it in our driveways or on dead end streets.

The parents should feel lucky. They've been given a second chance. Plenty of other kids haven't been able to get up and run away after similar instances.
re: Fla. 8-Year-Old Gets Traffic Ticket For Bike Mishaprussw19
Oct 25, 2003 7:11 PM
I wholeheartedly agree that the kid needs to be ticketed and charged. About 10 years ago my mom was driving down our street going to work. The kid who lived 3 doors down from us was riding along, not paying attention, jumping curbs. he swerved in front of my mom's car and she hit him. He got lucky and just had a broken leg. And the police agreed that my mom was not too blame, but the kid was only 7. In Ohio, he's too young to issue a ticket to, so because the police couldn't cite him, my mom's insurance skyrocketted. The insurance company didn't care that the police report stated she wasn't at fault, they just cared that the kid wasn't cited.

Besides, these people are all up in arms over a freaking $34 ticket? They should be happy their kid is OK and just pay the damn fine! That's a failure to yield ticket. Their kid caused damage to the other people's vehicle. If they pay the ticket, the insurance will cover the damages... if they didn't pay and I was the driver of the Nissan, I would sue them directly for the damages. Seems an easy choice to me... pay $34 to the State, or get sued for $1000 by some angry guy.

re: A dissenting opinionhudsonite
Oct 26, 2003 6:00 AM
The child is lucky. The child could have been killed. Hopefully the young rider learnt a lesson that will stick with him the rest of his life.

The law is the law and it should be applied fairly and equally. The problem I have is that I remember riding a bike as child, as a teenager and now as a father. In all my years of riding, I have never, ever, seen a police officer give a ticket to a car that violated a cyclists right of way. These right-of-way violations have resulted in many near misses over the years for myself, and a death of a friend.

If you are going to give out tickets to eight year olds that break a law that they do not understand, then you should also be giving out tickets to car drivers that violate the right of way of all cyclists, that do understand the law.

Yes, the parents are responsible for making sure that children understand the rules and the law. But being a parent is not easy. Children have a mind of their own at times. The child should have had a helmet on and the child should have not been playing in the street. But it happens all the time. As a car driver, when driving through an area with children, I feel it is my responsibility as a driver to watch for children. If I see children playing, I slow down and watch for signs a child might be coming into harms way. I may have the legal right of way, but I also have the responsibility as an adult to understand that kids, will be kids.

Good law enforcement is when there is symetric enforcement. At least in my experience, enforcement is not symetrical between the rights of cyclists and the rights of car drivers. If it was, then this would be ok, but it is not, and so I see this as misguided, asymetric enforcement of the rules of the road.

Give the child a warning ticket with no economic value. But a $34 ticket, it sounds a little foolish to me.
re: A dissenting opinionrussw19
Oct 26, 2003 6:52 PM
Good points, but I think you are missing one thing... first, the $34 ticket is essentially a ticket with no economic value. If the ticket is in the child's name, the child's parents could argue the child's age and lack of a job as an economic hardship to not paying the ticket... but that isn't the reason the officer gave the ticket. I am willing to bet you that the officer knew exactly what the situation and the law was when he issued that ticket to the child. If the officer doesn't assign blame properly, the people in the car have no recourse with their insurance company. Hell, if I were the guy driving the car, I would pay the ticket for the kid, but the kid still must get the ticket issued to him. That way my insurance pays for the repairs to my car. The only other course of action if the kid doesn't get the ticket is that they would have to sue them in civil court for the damages to the vehicle. If you ask me, the officer exercised perfect law enforcement. He did the best thing for all involved. The only problem here is that the stupid parents of the boy on the bike won't own up the fact that they left their kid unsupervised, he caused a traffic accident that by the grace of god he went unharmed in, and now they can't even own up to the responsibility of paying a freaking $34 ticket so an insurance company pays the damages.

As for symmetric law enforcement.. that can only be changed by not accepting anything but justice for people's misdeeds. This certainly was a child's misdeed... justice demands that he and his parents be punished accordingly. Surely a $34 ticket is just. It's neither excessive or outrageous, and is very fitting of the situation. If I on my bicycle cut across a traffic lane and caused a car accident, I would fully expect to be held accountable. You are right in that cars should be help accountable for the same violation, but to justify this simply because cars aren't held equally accountable is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. If you say that we shouldn't hold the child responsible because cars aren't held to the same standard then how can we ever later go back and argue for the equal treatment of cars that violate pedestrian or bicycle rights of way?

That's my opinion on all this... take it only as that.

re: I appreciate your opinionhudsonite
Oct 27, 2003 5:20 AM
I do appreciate your opinion. It is well thought out and makes sense within the context of the insurance claims.

The car owner should not be out of pocket for the mistakes of a child. And I believe, if a ticket is necessary for the insurance company, then this was probably necessary.

But traffic tickets should not be something that are given out only in case of an accident. In essence, we are saying the ticket assigns blame and responsibility. But I do believe, the reason we have laws and enforcement of laws is to make our society a better and safer place. We should be correcting bad behavior before accidents happen, not after.

Think about all the laws children break on the road. If we start giving out tickets to every child that breaks the law, we are going to be giving out a lot of tickets! I am not sure that this is the best way of teaching our children or spending our tax dollars.

For insurance and legal purposes we need to determine fault to make people whole again. But maybe we can do this without giving traffic ticket to an eight year old that can not even read or understand the rules of the road.

As a cyclist, my biggest pet peeve has always been the total lack of concern the police show us with respect to our right of way on the road. In my opinion, I would much rather read about car drivers being given tickets for bringing danger to a cyclist than hearing about an eight year old get a ticket.

I lost one friend to a car/bike accident. The driver was not charged with anything. I have seen a bunch of accidents that had less serious consequences, and never did the driver get a ticket. So this one strikes a personal hot spot.

But thanks for your opinion. I do not disagree with you, I just wish cyclists had their rights protected by the law as much as car drivers have their rights protected.