By Lisa Shoman:I cannot imagine a more terrible thing to happen to a child than to die in a motorcycle accident or for any parent to witness or experience than their child dying this way. My most heartfelt condolences to the parents and family of the child that was crushed in Orange Walk Town by a Bowen and Bowen delivery truck after being flung off a motorcycle driven by her father.
That said, I’ve often lamented for years on the practice in Belize of seeing motorcycles and scooters with a rider, often with a helmet perched (but not fastened on his head) (yes, mostly he) and multiple riders, mostly without helmets and including more than one child.
Let get this straight- motorcycles and scooters are a dangerous form of transport for children. And with each risk factor, the danger goes up – the younger the child, the more children, the lack of any helmet, the rush hour time, the inexperience of the driver, the risks taken by weaving in and out of traffic.
I live in Belama and work on Barracks Road. I see this every day. I get that motor bikes are a cheap, convenient, popular mode of transport in Belize. I get that. But nothing, nothing justifies risking the life of a child; and taking a toddler on a motorbike is doing exactly that.
In Belize, too often we operate under “barbecue in a gas station” rules. We seem to think safety norms are for wimps and chumps…until it hits home.
How many more kids will have to be hurt, maimed, killed before we pass regulations with still penalties and then enforce them without fear or favor? This public safety initiative would be perfect for one of the many Biker clubs in Belize ( Orange Walk has a strong vibrant one) to take on as a public service and I volunteer to assist with the drafting- mandatory safety rules for motorcycle operation and use.
Kids and motorbikes don’t mix. Period.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
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