Traumatic events and children

In response to a study showing 20% of Portland cyclists experience a “traumatic event”, Oregon lawmaker Mitch Greenlick wants to ban ban children under six from bikes because bikes are dangerous.

The Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) study released last November 2010 showed 20% of surveyed cyclists in Portland experienced a ‘traumatic event’ in a year of riding. This seems alarming, until you dig a little deeper and see that ‘5% required medical attention’ as reported at Bike Portland. Mia Birk looked at this as well and discovered that a ‘traumatic injury’ could be something as small as a skinned knee or sprained ankle, according to Dr. John Mayberry, one of the study authors at OHSU.

The study calculates we can expect one of these minor mishaps about once every four years if we bike commute about six miles daily.

Compare that to the 2,600 children whose parents back over them with their cars every year in the United States. Most end up in the ER, and two of them die every week. Traffic collisions are — by far — the leading cause of death for children ages one through 14. Parents transporting their children by bike is one of the solutions to this problem, but instead Mitch Greenlick wants more children killed by automobiles. Well, not really, but that would be a result if his bill becomes law.

In response, Jonathan at Bike Portland suggests using a photo of us riding with kids as our Facebook profile picture. My personal Facebook page already shows me and my daughter on a bike together. Here’s another one showing my daughter on the front of Chris Brown’s KidzTandem.

Kidz Tandem Panda

Post a link to your favorite parent+child bike photo in the comments and show Mitch Greenlick how fun and safe cycling with kids can be.

More at Bike Portland: Greenlick Child Biking Bill Reaction Roundup.



  1. Ditto.

    But don’t ask my children about the time I tipped their trailer over. Or the time I towed my son with a bungee and took a corner a little fast. Or the time I squeezed through SF Market Street traffic with the trailer bike. Those events never happened.

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