Parents' Job Is To Keep Their Children Safe

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The issue that stands out with the recent action on motorized play vehicles is that parents must take responsibility for what their children are doing.

Relying on the town government or police officers to be surrogate parents is an inappropriate use of dollars and time.

Unfortunately, it is often law enforcement that must step in when parental common sense is absent. A parent who allows a child to soup-up a skateboard with a two-stoke engine and speed down McLane Road needs a psychiatric evaluation.

Even if there is a town ordinance which allows police to stop someone, the parent who permits this should be fined, cited for failure to use gray matter, and forced to attend a workshop on critical thinking.

True, there are many parents who must work and may not be aware of what their child is doing -- but that simply can't excuse things. Plenty of parents work but continue to have authority over their children's activities.

Even more hazy is where potential liability lies if an accident were to occur. If a driver hits a child driving a motorized skateboard and both are going 25 mph -- it's the child who will be severely injured. Who is liable for that accident?

Many of our laws assume reason and common sense -- intangible factors that come into play.

Is it reasonable to assume that permitting your child to drive a vehicle with a motor that goes up to 32 mph in which they stand unprotected could be dangerous?

Regardless of where they ride, this is dangerous. It's more than common sense. It's the laws of physics: friction + velocity + gravity = injury.

Some argue that bikes can go that fast. But how often is a child going to expend the physical energy to make a bicycle go even 20 mph?

On the other hand, with a motorized play vehicle, all a child has to do is pull a lever or flip a switch.

It's like comparing apples to oranges.

Remember when you got your first car? It was probably a heavy, slow hunk of unattractive metal because your parents didn't want you to get killed: maximum protection (friction, mass) + minimal speed (velocity) = less injury.

In a sane and intelligent world, we wouldn't need laws, but if you drive on McLane Road it's clear we need them. People understand generally that when they are hit with a fine, reprimand -- consequences -- they need to re-evaluate their choices.

Yes, more laws equal more government in our lives, but when parents seemingly cannot protect their children, there must be something that does.

Because there are parents who do not take the necessary critical steps to protect their children and those who actually do things that harm them -- then the law must be there for those who cannot protect themselves.

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