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Scooter Woes

December 06, 1987

This is a letter in reference to the article in the San Diego County section of The Times, dated Nov. 17 and titled "Scooter Scofflaws."

In June of 1980, while I was driving on Highway 101 through Encinitas, I came across one of these "scofflaws." He was traveling on a scooter on the right shoulder, and I was in the left lane traveling in the same direction as he. To make a long story short, he cut across two lanes of traffic with no signal of any kind (trying to enter a driveway on the left-hand side of the roadway), and to his surprise he ended up right in front of my car. I hit him and he went down.

If it weren't for my quick actions and defensive driving (I had just recently finished a driving course to begin employment for an ambulance service), he would have been run over and either seriously hurt or quite possibly killed.

As it was, he was only thrown to the ground and ended up with a few abrasions. I wish I could have said the same for his scooter; it was a total wreck. Come to find out, as the California Highway Patrol questioned him, he was only 14! A long way from a permit, much less a license, and his parents had just bought the scooter for his recent birthday. Maybe they thought it was a bike in disguise?

In this situation, as with many highlighted in the article, the parents of these kids are the real root of the problem. Maybe if they went along on a few "car versus scooter/moped/bike/motorcycle" calls and saw all the twisted young bodies that I do, they wouldn't be so quick to allow their children to travel around without a license, training or rider protection, like a helmet.

Unfortunately, with parents like Ms. Schrider has, I will never have too many slow and uneventful days while at work. Hopefully, a few will take note and save their children from a lot of pain and suffering by taking a few intelligent and precautionary measures.

RICHARD J. HAMILTON II

San Diego

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