Before we get into this, let me just clarify a few things.
I am a parent.
My child has a scooter.
My child loves scootering.
I let her scooter frequently.
This is not an altogether anti-scooter piece.
I fucking HATE scooters.
In particular when scooters are allowed on busy pavements or on the school-run. Stay with me parents-who-let-their-children-scoot-on-the-school-run. I have no beef with it if they have to walk a long way and scootering is the only way some parents can get their little darling to go the distance. It’s especially fine, if they’re considerate enough to make said child/children get off their scooters once they get near the busy pavements by the school gate. I’m totally here for considerate scootering. However, it is not fine when children on scooters are weaving between hordes of people at potentially 25mph on the pavement. It is also not fine when children are so far ahead of their parents on scooters, the parents can’t really see if they’re knocking into people.
Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word pavement: A raised paved or asphalted path for pedestrians at the side of a road.
Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word pedestrian: A person walking.
Now I’m not about to suggest that children should be scootering in the road.
(Or am I?)
No…maybe…NO, I’m definitely not, BUT if a child knocks into me at speed whilst I’m WALKING on the PAVEMENT one more time, then well, I’ll probably just mumble under my breath or say something passive aggressive, but you get my point.
There is also, the danger aspect. I have seen children speed into roads on their scooters without really looking or if they have been taught to stop and wait for Mummy before crossing (kudos for this at least) then they stop so suddenly that if you’re unlucky enough to be behind them, you almost fall over them.
Also (nope I ain’t finished yet), if one lets one’s child scooter everywhere a) have they got one leg weaker than the other? b) if they’re not regularly walking to places on their own two feet, is this not detrimental to the development of both their muscles and mental approach to walking?
I have veritably seen a parent park their car, get their child out of the car, pass the child a scooter and let the child scoot no more than 20 steps to the entrance of a building. Is it an actuality that the child couldn’t have coped walking those few steps to the entrance of the building? This was also on a busy street plus the child fell off the scooter in front of me and almost knocked me over (relax, the child was fine, but that isn’t important right now).
Worst of all, are the (albeit minority of) parents who allow their children to freely scoot through the school gates and around the school playground with no regards to anyone else. It’s the attitude being perpetuated that WALKING PEDESTRIANS had better move out of the way as a child on a scooter is coming through. For me, a busy school playground is not the place to do this. It’s crowded, lots of people are walking in all different directions, toddlers are toddling about and playgrounds contain adults and children alike with different mobility issues.
Arguments I’ve heard in favour of letting your child scoot everywhere include:
“It’s healthy exercise”. Yes it is, but do you know what else is healthy exercise for your kids? FUCKING WALKING.
“It’s fun”. Correct, but do you know what else is fun? Space hoppers. Shall we let out children space-hop into school too?
“It’s helps get them to school on time”. Tough one. I don’t know, maybe…try…GETTING UP 5 MINUTES EARLIER.
Other reasons to hate scooters; I hate the way they swing round and whack you in the shins when you try to pick them up.
Also, thank God I don’t live in London anymore as some actual grown up actual adulting adults are choosing scooters as a form of transport to get to work on. I mean ACTUAL adult human beings. Scootering. To work. KILL THEM WITH FIRE.
There’s a time and a place for scooters and it’s not on busy streets, it’s not in school playgrounds and it’s not on the way to bloody work (you gigantic, inconsiderate adult-babies). People walking on the pavement should always have priority.
Right, now I’ve clearly turned into Mary Whitehouse, I’m off to complain to the council about people parking badly (I’m not even vaguely joking, readers).