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Pocket veto

In USA Today, Larry Copeland reports on how the growing popularity of "pocket bikes" — functional, but miniature motorcycles — is triggering calls to regulate or ban their use.

The main users of pocket bikes are teens too young to get a driver's license. Letting them hop on a machine that can do 35 miles per hour strikes me as a bad idea.

In fact, pocket bikes' poor handling chracteristics and low visibility to other drivers make them more of a toy than a practical vehicle, no matter how old you are. I shudder to think how easy it would be to get lost in an SUV driver's blind spot on one of those things. And if you do need to get out of trouble in a hurry, it helps to be on a bike that's ergonomically designed to be responsive to your steering input, not one that makes you look like a Russian circus bear pedaling around the ring.

I'm typically in support of regulating actions, not items. Don't want people copying Hollywood movies? Ban copying them — not DVD-RW drives and Kazaa. Want to fight gun crime? Crack down on armed robbery and murder — not guns. There's no reason to ban pocket bikes outright. But at the very least, it seems obvious that unlicensed riders shouldn't be able to take them on public roads.




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