This past year we’ve seen more children participating in our riding events. With this has come discussions regarding risk management as related to our young passengers.
The decision to ride with young passengers rests with the parents or legal guardians of the child and with the motorcycle operator. Personally, I enjoy the enthusiasm shown for the sport by children. I think it’s good for the sport to have young enthusiasts.
This month I’d like to address this topic by offering some information parents & riders should find useful in establishing guidelines for determining if and when a child may be ready to participate as a passenger.
First, let’s discuss the motorcycle’s required equipment:
Next, some general but important issues for the child passenger should be reviewed:
These questions should all be answered in the positive before addressing issues regarding when, where and what types of rides are acceptable risks with a child passenger.
I suggest the first rides should be of short duration to keep the child’s attention focused on the ride. Speeds should be kept low to minimize wind noise & aid in communication between rider and passenger. Time and location for the ride should be selected based on minimizing interaction with other traffic.
After the initial rides, review the experiences to determine the appropriateness of longer rides gauged by the child’s performance as a motorcycle passenger.
Remember, our desire as adults must not overshadow the importance of the risk management process in protecting our young people. The injury or death of a child is a very hard burden to bear.
Words of Safety