Our expert says:
This is always a difficult one, as it is more about safety than independence from a parents point of view. As you say, for him to be able to get around would be great, but you worry about how safe he would be.
Safety is not just about the person on the scooter. In my experience of South African roads many car drivers are not mindful of cyclists and motor cyclists and an accident is often the fault of negligent car drivers rather than the cyclists themselves. Also the standard of car driving in South Africa is very poor with many unlicensed or fraudulently licensed people behind the wheel.
Having said that there are more and more people taking to bikes because of traffic congestion and affordability.
If you do decide to go with the idea I would strongly recommend that he has all the necessary protective gear that will minimise serious injury and he always wears them when on the bike. These include a crash helmet, and proper safety gloves, jacket and pants which these days are kevlar lined and not too heavy. They are not cheap but the monetary and emotional costs of an accident are far higher.
It is a measured risk and one that many people take, but you have to be aware of all the pros and cons before going ahead.
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