Letter - Watch out for kids on scooters, electric bikes

The swarms of kids on Go Trax scooters and Suron electric bikes are out in full force. The speed of these electric vehicles can go anywhere from 8 to 15 mph and can create the strong possibility of a parent’s/child’s worst nightmare or a driver’s worst nightmare. I have noticed these children (with or without helmets), mostly middle school age, riding all over town — on sidewalks, in the streets, in the neighborhoods. They also ride in downtown Hinsdale, where traffic can be tricky to navigate for drivers, let alone kids. Drivers are looking for other cars and may not be as aware of the possibility of a couple of kids on scooters, who do not know the rules of the road and may dart out in front of them unexpectedly.

A parent’s worst nightmare is to lose a child. A driver’s worst nightmare is to hit a child. Drivers will always be the ones who will be held responsible for causing an accident regardless of whether a kid darts out in front of them. As a grandmother of two scooter-riding Hinsdale middle-schoolers, I am begging drivers to be totally alert while driving and not to trust that kids will always give you the right of way. They are for the most part 10-13 years old and are immature decision makers. Parents, please, make an effort to drill bike/scooter safety into your kids’ heads until they are sick of listening to you.

Wouldn’t you know it? Two days after my above letter was written, I felt that possibly I had my tail between my legs. I saw not one of those scooters anywhere. But I still feel that as residents, we all need to be vigilant. Hinsdale has a tendency to have lighter traffic during late June and July, as families are away on vacation. I know this to be true because it is easier to get a parking spot near Starbucks. But that being said, when August rolls around and the middle school kids are back in school, morning and afternoon traffic of cars and scooters will be back in full swing. — Joan Mancini, Hinsdale