Parents who drive motorcycles should know from what age they can take their children on a motorbike. A carefully driven motorcycle is one of the ways you can take your children to school or any other destination negotiating dense traffic and avoiding parking problems.
Road traffic regulations allow a motorcyclist to take one minor on a motorcycle providing the following condition is complied with: the passenger on the motorcycle must be at least 12 years old. The exception permitted by the regulation is for the passenger to be at least 7 years old and the driver of the motorcycle is the father, mother, legal guardian or a person authorized by them.
What the regulations are seeking is that the child is old enough to be aware of the need to hold on tight without moving whilst they are in motion. Furthermore, the idea is that the child should be able to reach the passenger footrests, although this is not compulsory.
Just like all others riding on a motorcycle, children must be wearing an approved motor cycle helmet adjusted to the size of the child's head. They should also straddle the motorcycle and be behind the driver, never in front. There should only ever be one passenger on a motorcycle, be that a child or an adult.
Child seats for motor cycles
Not all children can reach the footrests with their feet on all motorcycles. There are child seats which can be mounted on the passenger seat and footrests can be fitted for the feet. The child will not be fastened to the seat and will still have to concentrate on holding on, but the mobility of the body is reduced to a minimum. There are a number of brands and they can easily be found on the internet. There is one warning: the seats should always be officially approved.
For passengers who are tall enough to reach the footrests without problems, but are traveling on a motorcycle with nowhere to hold on to, there are several types of accessory. There are handle bars that can be fitted to the motorcycle, belts for the driver which have handles and even jackets for the driver with handles that the passenger can hold on to for better safety.
Types of motorcycle which can carry children
Passengers must comply with the above-mentioned age requirements for all vehicles officially approved as motorcycles, whether they have two or three wheels. The regulations also apply to side-cars, since they are approved as motorcycles.
Those mopeds which are approved as two-seaters can also take one child as a passenger, providing they comply with the age requirement, wear a helmet and straddle the vehicle. From 1 January 2016, an under-age driver may also carry one passenger - only adults were allowed to do this previously - and can carry a passenger who is at least twelve years old.