Teen takes aim at bikes menace

Kurt Caddy with one of his flyers. 144885 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS


A 13-YEAR-OLD Pakenham boy has started his own campaign to stop dangerous behaviour on monkey bikes, following last week’s tragic incident in Carrum Downs.
Berwick Grammar student Kurt Caddy lives near Toomuc Creek and regularly witnesses people riding their monkey bikes, dirt bikes and trail bikes dangerously.
Moved by the tragic death of 34-year-old Andrea Lehane, who was hit and severely injured by one of the bikes, Kurt was moved to raise awareness in the community about the dangers of irresponsible riding and encourage anyone who witnessed such behaviour to report it to police.
“I’ve almost been hit by trail bikes, and after the incident at Carrum Downs I got quite agitated by the whole situation,” he said.
Recently, he was targeted by two men riding the bikes in a residential area. Kurt estimates they were both in their mid-twenties.
“They did a big loop around me and one of them said ‘get the kid!’” he said.
“I didn’t know what to do, I was in shock. I just ran inside straight away to let my mum know.”
It is illegal to ride most monkey bikes on footpaths or public roads.
With the help of his mum Renee, Kurt has made flyers to draw the attention of the public to the issue.
Renee says a couple of incidents involving the bikes prompted her to inform the police.
“We hear them at least a couple of times a week and would see them once a week. It’s very concerning that they would be targeting people.”
However, she said it was Kurt who came up with the idea of printing flyers.
“We went to the police with the flyer and they were completely in support,” she said.
“He’s come up with this idea of raising awareness completely out of personal experience.”
Featuring a photo of the type of bike involved, Kurt’s notices will be stuck up locally and encourage passers-by to take note of the time and date they see the bikes before reporting the information to the police.
Renee hopes that people the idea will encourage more people to take a stand against the potentially deadly activity.
“I think a lot of people in the community feel helpless about the issue, they sort of shake their heads and don’t know what to do,” she said.
“We’re not trying to prevent people from riding their bikes entirely – I’m sure it’s a lot of fun. We just think that it needs to be done safely.”