Police warning over dangerous cycle craze

PUBLISHED: 15:39 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:39 06 November 2017

A screenshot of the upsetting video involving a 14-year-old in St Albans.

A screenshot of the upsetting video involving a 14-year-old in St Albans.

Archant

Police have issued a warning following reports on social media of youngsters carrying out dangerous cycling stunts on roads in Welwyn Garden City.

Members of the public raised concerns through Facebook last Thursday of youngsters on bicycles, riding out in front of cars in the Cole Green Lane and Thistle Grove area.

According to reports on Facebook, there were three boys of primary school age, who were causing motorists to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting them.

It is not known which school the boys go to, but Welwyn Garden City headteachers are issuing warnings to children regardless.

Commonswood Primary and Nursery School headteacher Gillian Seymour said: “The school is aware of the road safety issues and takes this very seriously.

“We will be speaking to the children and parents to highlight the importance of road safety.”

The concerns follow video footage of a similar incident in St Albans, which shows a boy doing a wheelie on the wrong side of the road before a car smashes into him and flips him over the bonnet.

The footage was released by the 14-year-old’s mother, Lesley Hooper, who said he was not badly injured, escaping with just a few bruises.

She said she wanted to warn other parents about the craze before someone is seriously or fatally hurt.

A Herts Police spokesman said officers had not received reports of any such incidents in Welwyn Hatfield, but were urging parents to have a word with their children about the dangers of the stunts.

Inspector Sophia Adams, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have not received an official report of this incident [the one in St Albans] into our control room but we have been made aware of the footage via social media.

“The boy involved lives in Borehamwood and I can confirm that local Safer Neighbourhood Team officers made contact with the boy and his parents to give him words of advice around his behaviour.

“We have the full support of the boy’s mother in sharing the footage as part of educational visits in schools, which we will be looking to support Borehamwood officers with in the near future.

“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour in Welwyn Hatfield and I want to take this opportunity to make it very clear just how dangerous these pranks can be.

“Luckily in this instance, the boy was not seriously hurt but there is a very real risk that this practice could have tragic circumstances if it goes wrong.

“I can imagine the driver of the car involved got a real fright, and now the nights are drawing in now it will be harder for motorists to see cyclists if they are not wearing reflective clothing.

“If you are a parent, I would urge you to discuss this incident with your children and reiterate how much danger they are putting themselves in if they are taking part in this type of behaviour.”

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