Child in bike trailer on state highway worries motorist

The in basket: Lois Fetters said in an Aug. 19 e-mail, “On Sunday afternoon we saw a man riding a bicycle with a trailer which held a small child.

“The child did have on a helmet but they were traveling along the side of the road on Sedgwick having just come off the freeway or across the freeway overpass from the area of Lowe’s.

“This seems very unsafe,” she said.  “In a world where each child is required to sit in a car seat with a five-point harness much like a NASCAR driver until they are of a size that the car’s protective devices will protect them, it seems to me that this bicycle trailer can’t even be legal.”

While asking State Trooper Russ Winger about Lois’ concern, I asked if a child with a helmet on can ride on the back of a motorcycle.

The out basket: The trailer is legal, Russ says. The child restraint law pertains to motor vehicles. He also surmised that the trailer probably had a harness inside to protect the child.

As for my question, Russ said, “A child must be age 5 to ride on the back of a motorcycle. (Too young but that’s my own opinion).”

Russ also gave the bicyclist props for having a helmet on the child in the trailer. Though bicyclists, and by extension those being towed by one, are strongly advised to wear a helmet in this state, it’s required only in some cities.

One thought on “Child in bike trailer on state highway worries motorist

  1. My son and I are the topic of discussion here. I appreciate the concern about safety. The trailer is a recumbent tandem bike, a “weehoo” that we bought at REI. The bike comes standard with a harness and straps on the pedals for the feet, however, we added an additional separate lap belt for additional restraint. We were coming off the overpass from Lowe’s, not off WA-16 itself, on our way back home. I am a little glad that the writer did not notice how physically exhausted I was from hauling 60 extra pounds behind me (yes the tandem has pedals, but my son was not really helping too much at that time). I am being sincere when I said I appreciate the concern for safety, I get upset when I see kids not in car seats or car seats in front seats. We have been out several times, mainly sticking to the trails in Banner Forest, but we venture to ride the road every now and then.

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