Ore. senate approves kids under 7 on motorcycles
The officials said it is up to the parents not the state to decide what is safe for their children
By Harvey Esteve
SALEM, Ore. — Talk about your jarring juxtapositions.
A week after the Oregon House approved a bill that would forbid anyone under 18 years old from using a tanning booth -- citing health concerns -- the Senate on Tuesday voted 22-7 to allow children under the age of 7 to ride off-road motorcycles on public land. Motorcycles and dirt bikes are considered among the more dangerous pastimes, with deaths and injuries reported every year. But supporters of the change said it's up to parents, not the state to decide what's safe for their kids.
"Government can't protect children, but a parent can," said Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro. "Who cares more about a child than a parent?" Supporters see Senate Bill 238 as a way to improve safety for young off-road riders because it requires anyone under 16 to meet minimum size requirements, known as a "rider fit" test before they can be certified to ride Class III ATVs, or dirt bikes. But the bill also repeals an existing prohibition on anyone under age 7 from riding those motorcycles.