Councillor’s ‘fatality’ fears over South Shields bike stunt kids

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Kids are putting their lives at risk by riding their bikes into traffic and ‘pulling wheelies’, a senior councillor has claimed.

Coun Ernest Gibson says he is trying to raise awareness among families about the problem before there are ‘any fatalities’.

The former mayor of South Tyneside claims to have witnessed youngsters pulling the stunt in Ocean Road and Whiteleas Way, South Shields, in recent weeks.

Police say they are aware of some issue regarding teenage bike riders in the borough.

Coun Gibson said: “It’s about raising awareness with the parents as well as trying to improve safety.

“It’s hard to try and convince children about dangers until something actually happens, but it’s better to try and be preventative before something happens.

“I will be bringing it to the attention of the council’s community safety team.”

He added: “We are only at the Easter holidays. What will things be like in the summer?

“We’ve all done things ourselves as kids, but this is totally different.”

Coun Gibson, who is standing for re-election to his Whiteleas ward seat in May’s round of local elections, also said he had been the target of foul language after trying to warn youngsters of the dangers himself.

Earlier this month, Northumbria Police urged parents to ‘to make sure they know where their children are’ during the Easter holidays.

The force also confirmed it has had at least one report youngsters cycling into traffic in South Shields.

A spokesman for the force said: “Shortly after 2pm on Wednesday, April 10, we received a report of a group of youths behaving in an anti-social manner on Mortimer Road, South Shields.

“The youths were reported to be riding their bicycles in the road, putting themselves and motorists in danger.

“Anyone who sees individuals behaving in an anti-social manner is asked to contact police or speak to a nearby officer.” 

James Harrison

James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service