24 answers

Confrontation with Neighbor over Kids Riding Bikes

Hello wise Moms!
It is summer, and my kids are playing outside a lot more these days. We live in a suburban neighborhood across the street from a park, but a lot of our neighbors don't drive as slow as I think they should. Especially in the summer with the high school drivers out and college kids home. A dog was actually hit and killed on our street recently. So, I went out and bought one of those green "flag-holding" slow men to display. I put it near the end of my driveway, but actually a little bit in the street because our house is in-between two curves and I don't think drivers could see it if I didn't put it there. I only put in out when my kids are riding bikes or playing basketball and I always bring it in promptly when they're finished. It has never been a problem, until today. A new neighbor (actually a new wife who moved into an old neighbor's house) came down to confront me about my sign. She was very rude to me and claimed that I was going to cause an accident and next time she would call the police. She had driven by a few minutes earlier and I guess she didn't like the sign being out. Any advice on how to deal with this? I am not going to stop trying to protect my kids, but obviously some people (this woman has older teenagers) don't like my kids riding bikes.

Update: I supervise my children when they are out front (except for my older two, but I wouldn't put the sign out with them anyway because they are very mindful of cars). My younger two children just haven't learned how to stay as close to the side of the street as I want. Generally, when they are riding bikes or playing in the park, I will yell "car" and they will all move to the side. I think part of the problem is that with a park across the street, there can be a lot of kids around. Most of them aren't mine, but I'm sure she was annoyed in general with the number of kids she had to watch out for.

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I had the same problem in my old neighborhood. Speed limit was 25, people thought 45 to 60 was appropriate. I put my signs in the middle of the darn road and called the police after I talked to the particular offenders a million times. One was a teen the other was a volunteer fire department guy! A chat with his supervisor solved that problem. I agree, the kids shouldn't be riding in the middle of the road, but people need to be mindful of children in subdivisions...think of the fallout for both the family with a ran over child, and the mental fallout of the person who is the one who hits them. Many lives ruined in a split second.

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They don't drive as slow as you think they should?
Not sure what that means. Are they actually speeding? If not, then I'm not sure what your complaint is.
I am pretty sure it's illegal to put an obstruction (your sign) in the road, that's probably what she was complaining about.
If your kids are going to be riding bikes on a public street then they (and you) need to be aware of the rules and risks and take appropriate precautions.

4 moms found this helpful

I had the same problem in my old neighborhood. Speed limit was 25, people thought 45 to 60 was appropriate. I put my signs in the middle of the darn road and called the police after I talked to the particular offenders a million times. One was a teen the other was a volunteer fire department guy! A chat with his supervisor solved that problem. I agree, the kids shouldn't be riding in the middle of the road, but people need to be mindful of children in subdivisions...think of the fallout for both the family with a ran over child, and the mental fallout of the person who is the one who hits them. Many lives ruined in a split second.

4 moms found this helpful

Putting something in the street, even a few inches is a driving hazard and if she calls the police it will be a she said she said. You could also get sighted for putting something in the street if it causes an accident even if you are trying to save lives.

Call the police, let them know your concerns. Ask them what you can do, what they can do and so on to make sure all kids are protected. Put the signs on the very edge of your driveway, that is your private poperty.

4 moms found this helpful

If your kids are riding in the street, they need to be following the rules of the road, not expecting drivers to change the rules to accomodate them.

3 moms found this helpful

I think the police would welcome that sign to ensure children do not get hit... I"d call the police and ask them about it - then next time that lady comes over to you to complain, say go ahead and call the police... they won't be siding with you.

2 moms found this helpful

I would call the police yourself, just to find out if this is really an issue or not. And if it isn't, I would just ignore her. Let her call the police if she wants, you already know you are right and she is wrong. Then the police can tell her that instead of you.

2 moms found this helpful

I see tons of these in my neighborhood and they make me smile. I'm happy that parents take the time to think about safety for their children and give drivers a little extra warning. Some put them by the curb, some put them in the middle of the street. Neither positon bother me. I think your new neighbor needs to get over herself. Do as the other mom's stated and call the non-emergency line and have them direct an officer or state patrol person to you so you can discuss the situtation.

2 moms found this helpful

Contact the police department and ask them to patrol your neighborhood more often. Tell them children are outside playing and riding bikes and you have several careless drivers in your area. Explain about the dog that was hit and killed also.
I would stand there right next to my little green man and take pictures or videos of the careless drivers; hopefully getting their license plate numbers. And turn that into the police.

If that doesn't work contact your local TV news station and ask for the community affairs director, explain the problem and ask them to do a story on it.

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