Mopeds and Go-Karts can be DEADLY (Kentucky)

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Mopeds and Go-Karts can be DEADLY (Kentucky)

Postby Micronaut » Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:16 pm

You're gonna poke someone's eye out! It's all fun until someone gets hurt and why is "FUN" in quotes?? is it not "true fun" like a game of scrabble?? kids on Go-Karts having "Fun" weird. Also of concern is the lumping of "mopeds" with ATV's -Wayne

Mopeds, go-carts and ATVs may appear to be fun, but a few minutes of fun is not worth a lifetime of regret because a child was crippled, maimed or killed while having "fun."

Published on Thursday, February 24, 2005 1:55 PM EST
Mopeds, go-carts can be deadly

Three cheers for Kentucky Youth Advocates in calling for stricter laws on all-terrain vehicles to protect young riders because of a growing number of fatal crashes in Kentucky.

Thirty-seven people lost their lives in ATV crashes in Kentucky last year. Fourteen of them were children ranging from 4 to 16 years of age. Moreover, in the last 20 years, at least 105 minors have died in ATV crashes in the state. Little wonder the child advocacy group is urging the Kentucky General assembly to make ATV safety a top priority. Among other things, Kentucky Youth Advocates is recommending legislation be enacted to require all minors operating ATVs to wear approved helmets at all times, to forbid the hauling of passengers on one-person machines, stop dealerships from selling adult-size ATVs for children and requiring training classes for everyone using an ATV.

Enacting tougher legislation is a starting point, but Kentucky law already requires the use of helmets when riding ATVs on public land, establishes engine size limits for youth and prohibits their operation on public roads unless for commercial purposes or to cross a highway. Tougher laws won't be worth the paper they're written on unless parents wake up to the dangers to which their children are being exposed and take responsibility for their protection.

Sadly, many parents apparently never take safety into consideration when purchasing motorized toys for their children, and ATVs are but the tip of the iceberg. During the spring, summer and fall months, and on mild winter days, youngsters can be found on the streets of numerous Winchester subdivisions riding mopeds or driving go-carts.

Both can be every bit as dangerous as ATVs because they are small, low to the ground and offer their riders virtually no protection. And protection can be critical when operating in a street populated with much larger cars and trucks. Even the smallest of cars or pickups can cause serious, perhaps fatal, injuries to any rider of a moped or go-cart that wanders into their path.

However, the problem with mopeds and go-carts in area subdivisions extends far beyond size issues. Most of those riding them on area streets are far too young to qualify for a driver's license. Many moped and go-cart operators appear to be 10-12 years of age, and some are even younger. To their credit, most wear helmets, but a helmet will do them little good if they pull into the path of a car or truck traveling 20-30 miles an hour.

Streets and roads are designed for cars and trucks, and those operating any form of motorized vehicle on them, even a battery powered moped or golf cart, or a gasoline-driven go-cart, must possess a valid operator's license. In Kentucky, that means they must be at least 16 years of age. The overwhelming majority of mopeds, go-carts and golf carts being operated on this community's streets are being operated by underage drivers, and for their safety, that needs to stop.

It needs to stop because it is illegal.

It needs to stop because it can be expensive, with fines and court costs of $150 to $250 or more for underage drivers, and possibly a delay in getting a legal operator's license until they are 18.

But most of all it needs to stop because it is extremely dangerous. No matter how much a parent may caution a child about being careful, children don't always pay attention, especially when several of them decide to ride together and perhaps attempt things a single rider might never do. Young operators aren't fully versed in the rules of the road, nor are they mature enough to deal with the challenges of operating in traffic, even light traffic.

Mopeds, go-carts and ATVs may appear to be fun, but a few minutes of fun is not worth a lifetime of regret because a child was crippled, maimed or killed while having "fun."
Wayne from Maine
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