"I'm going to not pay this ticket, and Scott's definitely not going to pay it," said Danielle McIntosh, the boy's mother. She added the only money her son has is the allowance he has been saving for a battery-operated miniature truck.

"He's an 8-year-old child. He does not understand what the right of way is," She said.

Scott was riding a bicycle in his neighborhood when he jumped a dirt mound with five of his friends, Bradenton Police Lt. Sam Campbell said. He crossed paths with a 2001 Nissan and the car clipped the rear tire of Scott's 5-pound, 16-inch BMX bicycle.

If no one is cited during an accident, insurance companies will demand that vehicle owners pay for their damages even if they are not at fault. It is a liability as well as a safety issue, [Bradenton Police Lt. Sam] Campbell said.

Irresponsible Parents

by Tina Blue
Oct. 25, 2003

Parents amaze me sometimes.  I think about the high school senior girls who were caught on videotape seriously abusing junior girls in a hazing incident.  Parents brought the beer kegs and drank along with the girls and other students while watching the events unfold. 
When the girls who committed the assaults were suspended from school and from extracurricular activities for their participation, their parents sued the school!  Of course.  Their girls' "rights" were at stake.  Which rights? Their right to commit assault and to put younger girls into the hospital with injuries, without suffering any consequences?

Now I read about a case in Florida, where an 8-year old boy was ticketed for a traffic violation that could have gotten him killed  ("Fla. 8-Year-Old Gets Traffic Ticket For Bike Mishap"  <http://www.local6.com/news/2580655/detail.html>).  His parents are outraged that he was cited.  Little Scott caused an accident that damaged a vehicle. In order for the car's owner to get insurance to cover the $500-$1000 in repairs, someone has to be cited for the accident:

A touch football game between suburban Chicago high school girls turned into a brutal hazing in which players were slapped, punched, doused with paint and splattered in the face with mud and feces.

Officials at Glenbrook North High in Northbrook were examining videotapes taken by students who had gone to a park Sunday to watch the annual "powder puff" football game between junior and senior girls.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports 100 students were involved and five girls were hurt  one broke an ankle, another had 10 stitches.  

The accident was Scott's fault.  He didn't yield the right of way, but instead, while bike-jumping a dirt mound with friends, pulled directly into the path of a car that clearly had the right of way: 
It's just luck that he wasn't injured or killed.  Amazing luck.

But Scott's parents are outraged that he was cited for the traffic violation and they now must pay his $34 ticket, because he is a kid and he can't pay it.

        Okay.  Let's ignore for the moment the fact that this boy was not wearing a helmet while jumping obstacles on his bike.  Not riding calmly down the street.  Jumping obstacles!  Here's my question: If your son doesn't even know what right of way is, why the devil are you allowing him to ride around unsupervised in the streets?!  And why are you letting this little kid do dangerous stunts like jumping obstacles with his bike--without a helmet, yet? Are you that eager to return to the much less demanding state of childlessness?

As the Chicago hazing incident shows, this sort of irresponsible parenting cuts across class lines.  Know what I wish?  I wish there were a way to ticket parents for violating the laws of basic common sense and parental responsibility when they behave like this.

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