A dad has been fined for carrying his 2-year-old son on his bicycle. Ghulam Murtza was stopped for allowing his son to ride on a seat, bolted to the cross bar of his bike.
Angered by the penalty, he ripped up with fixed penalty notice and was promptly charged for littering, too.
Ghulam was charged under the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which states it is illegal to carry a passenger on a bike unless it is designed or adapted for that purpose. But both Ghulam and cycling charity Sustrans are confused about the prosecution, as the seat he used was bought from Halfords and adheres to European safety standards. Ghulam bolted the seat to the cross bar, in accordance with instructions and wrapped it in duct tape for added security.
“I have been riding like this for 13 months,” explained Ghulam. “And the police have never told me it was not safe.”
However, the police claimed the seat was not suited to carry a toddler. “The bicycle was not made to carry a child in that way and officers took action to protect the young child from potential injury or worse, should the bike have been involved in a collision,” explained Chief Inspector Phil Fortun.
If you’re thinking of cycling with your child, make sure both your bike and the seat are designed to be safe on the roads.
“We want kids on their bikes and we don’t want incidents like this to put parents off carrying their children,” said Malcolm Shepard, from Sustran.