LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Fining parents for their children’s reckless behavior on bicycles?
Some police and politicians say it’s the best way to keep kids and drivers safe, following an uptick in dangerous “swerving” incidents on Long Island.
A lawmaker in Nassau County is unveiling new legislation aimed at beefing up cyclist and motorist safety.
On Thursday, police could be seen warning a group of 13-year-olds in Nassau County they and their parents could soon be fined for bad bicycle behavior.
“I don’t want my kids to be criminalized, having my kid getting a ticket for riding a bike in Levittown, come on,” said parent Mike Brown.
Watch: Lawmaker Announces New Bike Safety Legislation In Nassau County
A group of Nassau legislators tell parents confiscating bikes or issuing $100 fines would be about saving lives.
“Rideout,” “swerving” at the last minute, playing chicken is a fad, and dangerous, and young teens post them on social media for likes.
“If they are over the age of 12 years old they will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100,” said Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti.
Some parents call the fines extreme.
“I think we need to remember they are children and sometimes a little reckless,” one person told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Others say they would pay and hope their kids learn a lesson.
“I have a grandson. He’s going to be 12,” another person said.
The fine could be extended for failure to wear a helmet up to age 18.
Doctors say bicyclists wearing helmets are 65% less likely to suffer a fatal head injury. Yet a recent nationwide study shows 69% of kids don’t wear them.
“It’s really uncomfortable on my head,” one young rider said.
“I don’t know. Just doesn’t look good,” said another.
“With my helmet on, I lose confidence,” a third said.
“It’s not the cool thing? Well, now it’s going to be the law. Everyone under 18 wearing the helmet,” said Nassau County Legislator Thomas McKevitt.
Warning kids of fines and reckless behavior will be brought up during the first day of school, McLogan reported.
“We are going to bring those bike safety people into our schools and work with our children,” said Charles Murphy, the superintendant of Island Trees Schools.
Later in the month, a public meeting at the Levittown library to discuss the new proposals. Following the public hearings, the new bike laws will be debated and voted on.
Ferretti’s proposals come on the heels after a 13-year-old who was hit by a car while riding his bike on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown.