Motocross – A Dangerous Sport?

New York Times

AS 10-year-old Anthony Dombrowski Jr. soared high into the air aboard his dirt bike on ”Pee Wee” night at the Milford Rider’s Club Motocross Track, his father looked on calmly from behind a chain link fence that separates the track from relatives and spectators.

Suddenly, Anthony lost control of his bike in mid-air and went sprawling onto the hard, dry ground.

”Anthony’s hurt, he’s hurt,” screamed 10-year-old Alisha Jasudowich, another rider.

A few moments later after helping Anthony Jr. to his feet and assisting him as he limped off the track clutching his stomach, his father, Anthony Dombrowski Sr. said his son ”just had the wind knocked out of him, he’ll be all right in a few minutes.”

”It’s nothing to get all worked up about,” Mr. Dombrowski said. ”It’s like riding a horse, you fall, you get right back on the saddle. It’s fortunate that these falls usually aren’t serious.”

State officials, however, have gotten worked up over the injury of children in motocross events. It is a sport in which both children and adults drive lightweight motorbikes and all-terrain vehicles over an oval track filled with jumps and turns. Children as young 4, and sometimes 3, ride the smallest dirt bikes that are designed to go no faster than 15 or 20 miles per hour. In 1999, a teenager was killed at the Milford track, and citing that and other injuries to children, Mary Galvin, a state’s attorney, sent a letter in January to the Milford club warning that it may be violating state law by allowing children on the track, a warning that has sparked a battle between her office and motocross riders across the country.

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