There are a few factors that make it tricky for kids to bike or walk alone: Bad drivers who face insufficient consequences, lack of sidewalks and protected bike lanes, too few crosswalks. We COULD improve biking and walking infrastructure, and have cops actually crack down on illegal driving maneuvers. But that's hard! Instead, let's just arrest everybody who doesn't drive their kids to school. That appears to be the approach in Elizabethton, Tenn., where Teresa Tryon has been threatened with arrest if she keeps letting her daughter bike to school on her own.
Tryon lives only a mile from her 5th-grader's school, but has been told it's illegal for her to allow the kid to ride there herself. A police offer said the kid has been doing some dangerous maneuvers, and claimed that she told him traffic made her "nervous" — but she's taken a biking course, and frankly traffic makes most bikers a little nervous because it's largely composed of assholes who think you shouldn't be allowed on the road.
Of course, the kid has no other good way to get to school unless her mom drives her every day:
The chief acknowledged that there’s no sensible alternative route or even a safe way to cross that intersection. There are portions of the route with no sidewalk. Apparently taking the school bus wasn’t an option for her – according to the police report, the girl said “she had been kicked off the bus before and did not like it.”
But, you know, what's a little truancy in the face of blatantly illegal actions like letting a child ride a bike?