The State of Oregon has a new bill on the books,sponsored by State House Representative Mitch Greenlick.
The bill if passes it will make it illegal to carry children under six years old in a seat attached to a bicycle, or in a trailer towed behind a bicycle, under the penalty of a $90 fine.
Greenlick justifies the bill by stating “If just one child’s life is saved by this bill it will be worthwhile.”
I am left to wonder, where is the evidence to back up this idea the large numbers of toddlers are being killed or injured while being transported by bicycle.
There is evidence to show that the biggest cause of infant death is due to car crashes, is there a proposed bill to make it illegal for babies to ride in cars? The second biggest cause of death is drowning, so let’s ban swimming pools from households with young children.
This is just another example of a politician who probably doesn’t ride a bike, catering to a car-centic society by selling the idea that riding a bicycle on the public roads is inherently dangerous.
I’ll tell you what is dangerous, the precedent this bill sets if it passes in Oregon.
There are families out there who have only one car, or no car. How is a mother supposed to transport her children if no car is available?
The mother pictured above could be quite simply escorting her son to school and naturally has to take the baby along.
The trio is highly visible and there is no reason why they should be in any danger except for this strange notion we have that people be allowed to drive cars without paying attention to other road users.
I see mothers with a child in tow on my local bike path, some have to ride city streets to get to the path; the mothers are getting exercise and I’m sure the kids love it too. It would be a damn shame if this was outlawed.
The chart above is from The Center for Disease Control’s 2007 statistics on causes of death to children under six years old.