Tips for Riding With a Child Pillion Passenger
Thinking it would be pretty cool to have your kid ride along with you on the school run? Here’s a few things you need to know first.
First things first: there is no legal age limit for pillion passengers in the UK. There has been some controversy lately about that- after all, what’s to stop someone taking a toddler along? Well, it isn’t the law, so it must be bike rider’s good common sense and parenting instincts. When it comes to motorbike accidents in the UK, only a tiny percentage involve child passengers.
Although, as I’ve stated, there are no age limits, there are legal guidelines you have to follow to the letter, in order to keep that percentage low. So, whether you’re popping to the shops, or taking your teenager out to learn the ropes, make sure you do the following.
• If you’re not the child’s parent or legal guardian, and they’re under 17, you’ll need permission from the parents/guardians first.
• The child will need a safety approved helmet, which is correctly fitted and checked for fit before setting off. Don’t buy used, though the price might be tempting; there’s no guarantee that the helmet hasn’t previously been damaged in an accident.
• The child needs to be able to comfortably reach the foot pegs. You’ll probably need to raise the mounting points to allow for that, which is perfectly legal.
• Obviously, make sure you have your license with you in case you are stopped.
• The seat they will use must be properly attached. It’s a good idea to check the seat doesn’t wobble and isn’t damaged, especially if it hasn’t been used for a while. Also, don’t take them if it turns out the seat is too large/wide because of they’re too short. They need to be able to sit comfortably and confidently.
I’d also recommend taking them on a bit of a test drive first to make sure they’re happy with the experience- just up the street should do it. After all, if it turns out they’re anxious (or even terrified), the closer to home you are, the better. And, just in case they should panic and fall, or try to get off while you’re moving, make sure you have a basic first aid kit and the relevant emergency number on speed-dial.
Once you’ve got all that sorted and everyone’s happy, you can ride around to your heart’s content! A first experience on a motorbike is an exciting moment in anyone’s life, so why not take a picture together to remember it by?
If you have anything to add about under-18 pillion passengers (either for or against), leave a comment below.
And if this post has made you realise you need a bike with a better pillion seat, why not give webuyanybike a go?