A 4-year-old girl from Lincolnshire in the UK was threatened by police that they would confiscate her bicycle for riding it on the sidewalk.
The poor toddler, Sophie Lindley, was enjoying her day along with her father near to her home when a police car pulled up on the side of the road.
An officer told the girl’s father that riding on the sidewalk was illegal and that, as he drove off, he would be checking his mirrors, and if he saw her riding again on the sidewalk would return and confiscate the bike.
Dale Lindley told reporters about the incident.
“At first I thought he was joking but he looked deadly serious. I said You must be kidding. What do you want me to do, make her ride on the busy road? It’s rush hour. By the time I got her into class she was so upset a teacher had to calm her down. Poor thing thought she was going to be put in jail. I’m absolutely outraged that a policeman can act in this way.”
Despite those comments, at the time, Mr. Lindley obeyed the cop‘s instructions for fear his daughter’s bike would be taken away, ‘The path was totally empty and we walk along it every day. Sophie likes to cycle on her bike. She’s got a little saddle on the back which she puts her dolly in,” he added.
Mr. Lindley also confirmed that in his eyes, neither he, nor his daughter did anything wrong, “We always make sure she wears a helmet and I put a lead on the bike which I hold to make sure she doesn’t shoot off. We try and cycle to school whenever it’s a nice day.”
Meanwhile, the child’s mother, Emma Stephenson, accepted that it was illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk but it was later pointed out that Sophie is under the age of criminal responsibility, which is 10.
Stephenson complained to reporters.
“How on earth is my daughter riding her little bike with stabilisers to school a criminal offence? Surely there needs to be some common sense applied. One police officer I spoke to said the law applied to everyone – no-one can ride a bike on the pavement. But another said it shouldn’t have happened, as it’s different with children.”