Drive For Change

Mothers decry children riding motorcycles

  • Clearwater Beach

Complaints about children riding motorcycles without helmets in a public park have prompted the Department of Parks to contact police.

An angry mother called The Royal Gazette after seeing the children, some riding alone and others accompanied by adults on the bikes, at Clearwater Beach Park on Sunday afternoon.

She said about 30 children, some as young as 3, were playing nearby. The mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she was concerned a child could be injured or killed.

One of those present sent videos and photographs of the children to The Royal Gazette.

They show the youngsters, who looked to be as young as ten, riding motorbikes.

One photograph showed a man holding what appears to be a beer bottle while riding a bike with a child in front of him.

The mother, whose children were attending a birthday party, told the Gazette that when she informed police, they told her they could not take any action.

She said: “There were children riding a scooter and a motorcycle with no helmets and there were three separate children’s parties happening at the park.

“They were speeding inside of the ring in the park, which is for kids to ride their pedal bikes. They could have killed someone’s child, they could have lost control.

“It is irresponsible of the parents and adults to let underage children drive motorcycles with no helmets, especially when there are little children running around.

“When I spoke to them about it, they came to me with attitude saying they can do whatever they want to do. They think it is normal behaviour.

“I contacted the police but they said they couldn’t do anything about it.

I also contacted the parks department but I am not getting any answers.”

She said she contacted the Parks Department, which has ultimate oversight of the area. She also spoke informally to a worker at Bermuda Land Development Company which issues the special permits for use of the park for events and activities.

Another mother at the park said: “It was upsetting to see a couple of the motorcycles where the playground was because there were so many kids there.”

A third woman added: “I didn’t have any children there, but my friend’s children were and it is very concerning.

“It is risky allowing a child to ride a bike and the child have no helmet, and to ride a bike under the influence.

“The children on the bikes were very young — they looked between 10 and 12.”

It is an offence for an adult to allow a child under the age of 16 to ride a motorcycle and it is an offence for anyone to ride or be a pillion on a motorcycle without a helmet.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Parks said: “It should be noted that the Department of Parks and its park rangers works in conjunction with the Bermuda Police Service to address any issues of concern that arise within our national parks.

“That said, the department is aware of the incident and will be liaising with the Police Community Action Team and Parish Constable to address the matter.”

The Bermuda Police Service encouraged members of the public to submit photographs and videos of the incident to police.

A spokesman said: “The Bermuda Police Service works in conjunction with the Department of Parks and its park rangers to address any issues reported within Bermuda’s national parks.

“We encourage the concerned members of the public to submit the photos and videos they have of the incident to police so that we can ascertain the specific offences that may have been committed under the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986, including amendments, and the Bermuda National Parks Regulations 1988, including amendments.

“It should be noted that offenders under those Acts face, on summary conviction, a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to three months or both.”

Witnesses or members of the public with any information regarding the individuals involved are asked to call the main police telephone number 295-0011.

• The Royal Gazette has chosen not to publish photographs showing youngsters at the scene