Newest recreational bikes causing safety concerns
By Ben Tinsley
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
They're all over streets and sidewalks across Tarrant County, ridden by kids as young as 6. Pocket bikes are cheap, fast and portable.
But they're not street legal, and they're dangerous, police say.
"Lord, it's just a matter of time before somebody gets killed on one of those things," Dallas police Senior Cpl. Anita Dickason said. "Nothing that does 50 mph on a public road should be considered a toy."
In Keller, "we get complaints about them two or three times a day -- mostly on the southern end of town. But by the time we send an officer out, they are gone," said police Lt. Tommy Williams. "I think people are so used to seeing them, they don't call on them anymore."
Most Texas police agencies do not track pocket-bike or motorized-scooter accidents, said Clifton Burdette, coordinator of the Texas Department of Public Safety's motorcycle safety unit in Austin.
Dallas, however, started doing so this year and has counted a dozen accidents with injuries ranging from a fractured ankle to numerous cuts and bruises.
If the pocket bike's popularity continues, Dickason said, the accidents could become more severe and the injuries fatal.
That was the case in New York in July, when a 19-year-old Queens man fleeing from police on a pocket bike hit a pothole, wiped out in an alley and was killed, according to the New York Daily News. Last month, a 6-year-old boy was killed in England when his pocket bike crashed into a park pavilion in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, according to The Times of London.
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