Sophie Lindley, 4, almost lost her bike to a police officer for riding on the sidewalk in Grantham, England.
Lindley was cycling with her father, Dale, on March 2, when they were stopped by a police officer.
Dale told the BBC (video below):
"(He said), 'Look, she's gonna have to get off the bike. She's not allowed to ride it on the pavement (sidewalk)." He just said, 'I'm gonna park it here and I'll watch to see if you were put her on the bike further up the road, and if I look in my rearview mirror and I catch you on a bike,' he says, 'I'll turn the car around and I will confiscate the bike.'"
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Emma Stephenson, Sophie's mother, admitted it was illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk, and added, "But, it is ridiculous to think a 4-year-old is not allowed. The most unbelievable thing is they were going to confiscate the bike."
Sophie's grandmother, Margaret Stephenson, claims she and Emma called the police station and got two different answers.
"One said the law applied to everyone, no one can ride a bike on the pavement (sidewalk). But another said it shouldn’t have happened, as it’s different with children," Stephenson told The Grantham Journal.
In response to the incident, the police said in a statement:
"Safety is our priority and cycling on the pavement (sidewalk) is illegal. However, common sense obviously prevails and in the case of young children officers should use their discretion and offer the most appropriate advice for the circumstances."
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Roger Geffen, of the British charity Cyclists' Touring Club, told the BBC, "The police officer has forgotten that children under the age of 10 are below the criminal age of responsibility so they can't break laws and can technically ride on the (sidewalk)."