10 year old Cynthia Tryon (Right.) rides her bike a mile to school and back in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
A local police officer decided it is too dangerous for a 10 year old to be riding a bike on the road.
He loaded the girl and her bike in his cruiser, and drove her home.
The girl’s mother Teresa Tryon disagreed with the officer.
She thought she is best suited to decide what is safe or not for her daughter.
Later Child Protection Services (CPS) were called, and the mother asked if the CPS has a problem with her daughter riding her bike to school. She was told there was not a problem.
The issue is further complicated in that the local Police Chief is siding with his officer; and yet refuses to return the mother’s phone calls, or those from Robert Ping from the National Safe Routes to School Program.
Here is a missed opportunity to have a discussion about the issue and for some lessons to be learned.
The patrol officer, Willard Johnson, said he observed that “Vehicles had to slow and negotiate around the cyclist.” Excuse me! Isn’t that exactly what car drivers are supposed to do around cyclists?
The fact that in this case drivers are “Slowing and negotiating” around this young cyclist is making her ride safe, not more dangerous.
Kudos to this mother for standing her ground on this one. When our roads become safe for a child to ride their bike to school, they will become safer for everyone.
Footnote: Bill Hobbs in a comment on the video report says:
"I interviewed Chief Bailey for 20 minutes on August 29. He told me SEVERAL TIMES, in response to SEVERAL QUESTIONS, that the girl was riding safely, did not violate any traffic rules and did not cause any problems.
He confirmed that the reason the officer stopped the girl was a complaint by a driver who waived him down. There was no mention of a parked bus or the girl riding around the bus in the wrong lane, no mention of a car having to stop because of the girl on the bike.
Now he tells WJHL these allegations - which are NOT MENTIONED in the original incident report AT ALL. Not even hinted at. These allegations did not surface until TODAY. The chief - who was not at the scene - did not see these things happen.
The officer who stopped the girl from riding her bike did not mention these allegations in his original "incident report," the contents of which have previously been posted in this comments threat.
I can not conclude anything other than that these allegations are lies, falsehoods made up in an effort to shift blame for this ridiculous incident away from the Elizabethton Police Department and onto a 10-year-old girl.
If any lawyer wants to bring a slander suit against the police chief on behalf of the girl, I'll pay my own way to Carter County to testify.
Elizabethton Police Chief Matt Bailey could have been a man and admitted his officer made a mistake. He could have done the classy thing and accepted responsibility as the leader of the department.
He could have apologized to the mother, blamed the incident on his officer's overzealous desire to keep kids safe, and let it drop. Instead, he has declared war on a 10-year-old girl."