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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Frustrated

On Saturday FoTB took my four year old on a motorcycle ride.

(As a side note: I know of at least a couple readers who have let their kids on a motorcycle or have watched other relatives kids on motorcycles ... this is not a judgement of you, it is strictly my opinion.)

I am 100% against young children on motorcycles. Why?

Let me count the reasons:

  1. They are incredibly dangerous if an adult is in an accident, what do you think would happen to a child

  2. They are heavy, if one falls over on a child it could crush the child and I know more than anyone that you do not need a head injury to die, it almost happened to my sister

  3. There are people who have died because their motorcycle was rear ended, or in a minor accident that someone would have easily survived if they had been in a car

  4. Just staying in a subdivision or going slowly does not mitigate the risks, what if a teenager is distracted and hits the motorcycle. Your going at a slow rate of speed but you wobble a little... where does your child go? On the pavement? What if the bike falls over... you break your leg, your child breaks their pelvis or crushes their internal organs.

  5. Do I need to go on?

On top of the fact that I am against children on motorcycles, no matter the speed and where they go (i.e. it was just around our neighborhood) the fact that FoTB was driving it, one of the worst drivers on the planet, makes it 10 times worse.


Two weeks ago we picked up Zack from FoTB's house. On our way home this car FLEW past me and almost rear ended a semi. I thought it was a drunk driver from how erratically they were driving until I realized it was FoTB. I called Jim on his cell phone to confirm (he was about 500 yards in front of me) and he looked over to his left just in time to see FoTB fly by him. Yup... it was him. He then proceeded to weave in and out of traffic and left the road onto the shoulder no less than three times.


In fact, when he got said motorcycle a week ago I said to Jim, "Well, now I know how he is going to die." So the fact that he has my four year old on this bike, with his driving skills, compounds my fear.


On Monday night I tried talking to him. His answers were as follows, "We were not going to let either boy (his girlfriend has an 8 year old) ride the motorcycle again until we got them a helmet." Again... what will the helmet do if the bike falls on him and crushes his body? "You can't live in a bubble honey." #1... I am NOT your honey, #2... I don't think asking you not to take a four year old on a motorcycle is living in a bubble.


Since Iowa has seat belt laws and car seat laws I figured I would just talk to someone who knew the law, have them tell me OF COURSE that is illegal and have that to throw back at him. Unfortunately, it is not. According to the two police officers we talked to it is not illegal because no one thought it necessary to make a law about common sense and that no one was stupid enough to take a four year old on a motorcycle. Ahhh... they are wrong. I know someone.


The officers did tell us if they ever saw someone riding on the road with a child they would pull them over and offer them a stern talking to about how dangerous it was but they couldn't do much else.


So I contacted our DHS worker. Her answer was the same, it is not illegal so she can not stop him from doing it but she thought it was VERY dangerous and couldn't believe he would put his son in that position.


Finally, I moved on to my lawyer. Her answer was similar. A judge probably couldn't enforce that as it becomes Zack's word against FoTB unless we actively catch him on the motorcycle however, I could take him back to court and if the judge rules the activity too dangerous he could possibly take away visits or make them supervised again.


At the end of our conversation I did tell FoTB that I thought what he was doing was illegal and knowing him as I do he will probably not look it up so perhaps it will never happen again. After I told him that he told me he would "respect my wishes" and not take Zack out again. Which means, he has not thought at all about the ramifications of having Zack on there and instead is just saying he won't because I told him not to.


I told the lawyer I would contact her if he put Zack on the bike again and we would proceed with going back to court if we had to. In the end I'm just frustrated. The police officers, the DHS people, the lawyers all of them tell me how dangerous this is and how he should NOT be doing it yet not one of them can do anything to help me because no one would be dumb enough to do that would they?


I know someone.....

5 comments:

Kelly said...

I hope that he just takes your word for it that is illegal.

They did just change our car seat/seatbelt laws for kids, why didn't one of our goofy law makers add this into the bill?

So frustrating. Like you needed something else to worry about while Zack is with FotB.

kbreints said...

You know my thoughts on this, BUT... I would worry that 20x more with it being FotB.... he is a TERRIBLE driver.

Jennifer B said...

Can you have someone pull his motor vehicle record - this could lend credence to your case that he is a hazard. And maybe you could talk to Z. and get him on board regarding it being too dangerous so he speaks up and says he doesn't want to ride on the motorcycle?

Jessica said...

I agree 100% with you in YOUR situation with FoTB and your son. I don't trust FoTB with my life in his car none the less on a bike. I did it once...never again! I agree with your stance when it pertains to him.

Generally I don't know how I feel because I don't have cildren.

What I do know is my dad was a dad who didn't have to be; he stepped up and swooped in taking care of my mother and I when he didn't have to. He would lay his life down for me. With all that said he is the same father that picked me up from kindergarten on his Harley. (We were a one vehicle household and he let my mom take the car to work)Either way he would pick me up on his bike; throw my hair in a ponytail, put a shirt on me to go over my uniform and away we would go. He gave my friends rides on it as well.
I would like to think I would trust my dad to give my child, your child or any other child a ride around the neighborhood. Down the interstate as mode of transportation; probably not. We know more now than we did then as far as dangers and precautions.

Above all and beyond all....

I gotta wonder; if FoTB asked you to quit texting while driving with your son in the car because that is something he felt passionately about and saw as a danger would you?

I breifly looked up some statistics on a topic you know I am passionate about and the statistic between motor cycle deaths and cell phone deaths are not that far apart. Difference being the statistics for motorcycle deaths date back to 1960 and cell phones only date back to 2008 or 2009.

You know I think you are a wonderful mother. There is not comparison in parenting skills. I don't think you would ever intentionally put your son in danger.

I just think that "danger" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder if you will.

Either way...I'm sorry you are going thru this!

Anonymous said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh. So many things in this post left me speechless!

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