Some Kaikohe folk have well and truly had enough of children and youths riding their bicycles and motorbikes on the town's main street, showing scant regard for vehicles or their own physical wellbeing. Others, however, defending them has just kids having some harmless fun and do not deserve to be "picked on," by the police or anyone else.
Kaikohe residents and visitors alike have long been complaining, however, one resident saying that the problem with bicycles had become increasingly concerning over the last five months. The worst problem was on the main street, Broadway, but other streets, and State Highway 12, were also popular with riders, most of them described as youths.
Whether they were on bicycles or motorcycles, they tended to ride without helmets, on the wrong side of the road, and weaved in and out of traffic "playing chicken."
Cyclists, generally in groups, had also taken to hanging around outside shops and ATM machines, blocking the footpaths for pedestrians.
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Police had reportedly seized a number of bikes over the last two weeks, prompting a response from some adults to the effect that their children had done nothing wrong.
Others have taken to social media to air their frustration, one poster pondering whether the issue was about "Bikelife or bikedeath?"
"Something needs to happen before something worse happens," they added.
Another said that a bike track wouldn't solve anything; "They'd still be up town playing chicken with the cars. Hate how they just come out in front of u and expect you to stop for them and then they just slyly grin at u. Every1 complaining about oh they just kids and want to show off their bike skills bla bla... they're doing it because they get a thrill out of every1 noticing them and nearly causing accidents."
A number of people had approached the Far North District Council, one resident said, asking that it enforce the relevant bylaw, and had been told there wasn't one.
Others have made a connection between the worsening situation and the fact that most of Kaikohe's police are now stationed in Kerikeri.
Meanwhile one social media poster had a suggestion for parents: "Teach them bike safety, where they can ride their bikes, but most importantly be involved with them."