Could Pocket Bikes Be Dangerous? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/22/04 - East Texas

Could Pocket Bikes Be Dangerous?

They look just like real motorcycles but on a slightly smaller scale. These pocket bikes can go pretty fast.

Ken Watkins, the owner of Lufkin's Christmas in July said, "they have one that's a small that's a real small. That looks like it's for a 6-year-old child but grown men ride them and go 40 miles an hour. They put speed kits in them, go 70."

Ken doesn't sell those bikes, primarily because of the danger. He says the one's he sells go about 20-25, but even at those speeds, a 6-year-old could be in danger. Ken says it's up to the parents to keep them safe.

"The parent knows what their child is capable of more than anyone else. You know that your 9-year-old can ride something that goes 25 miles an hour or you know that they can't," said Ken.

Ken says he's not afraid of loosing sales, he tells his customers if they don't think their child can handle it, don't get them one. If they just need to control the speed, some bike models can help.

Ken said, "it's equipped with a little screw which is adjustable so that the parent can turn the carburetor down to adjust the speed to the suitability of the child."

The thing to remember is that these bikes are not motorcycles or even mopeds. With just a two stroke engine, they are nothing more than a weed-eater on wheels, but they can go fast and they can be dangerous.

As with any motorized toy, good parental supervision is needed to keep your child safe.

Department of Public Safety Officials say these pocket bikes are required to follow all the same rules of the road as bicycles. They can be on the road, but just on the side in the bike lane, and they have to stop at all proper traffic signals.

It is warned that having these on the road could create a dangerous situation, because how low they sit to the ground. Officials recommend that they not be ridden in busy streets.

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