Genevra Walters has had her fill of small bikes, filth bikes and all-terrain automobiles ripping up and down Kankakee streets.
The superintendent of Kankakee faculties is making an attempt to do one thing about this subject and it includes establishing some kind of off-road monitor for Kankakee County teenagers who’re devoted to driving these automobiles.
This summer season Kankakee streets have been plagued with kids driving unlicensed filth bikes or ATVs on metropolis streets, together with Courtroom Road, Indiana Avenue, Harrison Avenue, Nelson Avenue and lots of different closely traveled streets.
The operators of those bikes typically place no regard for guidelines of the highway, weaving out and in of visitors and touring by means of cease indicators and crimson visitors lights.
Luckily, up to now, nobody has been critically injured.
However the subject has caught the eye of some Kankakee Metropolis Council members and regulation enforcement. Police try to crack down on this drawback.
Walters is making an attempt as effectively. She famous few of the filth bike and ATV riders are even from Kankakee. She mentioned most are out-of-town youngsters who clearly discover in additional fulfilling driving right here than close to the place they reside.
What she is in search of is a few method to get the riders off the roads earlier than one thing tragic happens.
“Having these children doing wheelies on Courtroom Road is unacceptable,” she mentioned. However, she mentioned, if an alternate will not be discovered, the issue will live on and, greater than doubtless, develop.
“Now we have to acknowledge that children are serious about various things. I don’t need them demonized. … It’s not driving mini-bikes that’s the issue. It’s the free rein they’ve. We have to discover them an outlet.”
There are dozens of unlicensed teenagers driving these bikes. Walters famous between six to eight Kankakee boys who function these automobiles.
She is engaged on a Kankakee County Youth Empowerment Program grant, which might not solely assist get teenagers and their bikes off the streets, but in addition open up mentoring, tutoring, job coaching in addition to working in some group service. This system additionally seeks inclusion into the Nationwide Youth Challenge Utilizing Minibikes (NYPUM) undertaking. Nationwide, this system mentors greater than 1,500 girls and boys yearly. Based mostly in Torrance, Calif., this system has been in existence for 50 years.
The core thought of this program is to place children along with a caring grownup and a path bike. This system could be designed to show the youth find out how to look after and safely experience within the open air.
Within the course of, the individuals construct vanity and self-discipline. In addition they would uncover, she mentioned, they will work collectively and study management expertise alongside the way in which.
A program like this instructing kids is healthier than having a police officer monitoring down an unlawful dirt-bike operator and handing that individual or the mother and father a ticket for unlawful operation of a unlicensed automobile, she famous.
“These automobiles, we’ve got to get them off of the streets,” she mentioned. “Let’s assist our youth in a constructive approach.”