A Tennessee Grandmother was cited by police for allowing her grandchildren to ride their bikes in the street in front of her house.
Victoria Mathis of Charlotte, TN, was appalled when she was told that her city would take legal action against her if she does not stop her grandkids, ranging in age from 7 to 12, from biking on her residential street.
Charlotte, TN has a law that prohibits anyone from skateboarding, rollerblading, roller-skating or conducting similar activities on city streets or in city parks. The law does not state where in the town of 1200, children and individuals are permitted to play.
In a commentary for DC.Streets.Blog.Org, Angie Schmitt noted that the Tennessee story illustrates why the US has a severe child obesity problem.
Sara Zimmerman, a spokesperson for the Safe Routes To School National Partnership, cautioned that Charlotte may want to reconsider their law.
“Communities should tread very carefully when they start enforcing rules against normal, healthy activities,” Zimmerman said. “Not only is it a bad idea to discourage people from being healthy and make it hard for kids to act like kids, but there are dangers for the towns themselves too. They risk being held up to ridicule by the country at large, and if they are going beyond what they are actually authorized to enforce, they may be inviting legal trouble as well.”