Bicyclists “Playing Chicken” With Traffic Hits Lower Bucks

playing chicken
Image via Abington Township Police Department.

Lower Bucks residents are complaining to their friends, neighbors, and even the police about a dangerous new trend among young people. Children, many young teens, are riding their bicycles head on into traffic and “playing chicken.”

Whether on the Levittown Parkway, Mill Creek Road, or in front of Penn Valley Elementary, the trend is spreading. Most reports have come in the past few weeks.

In at least one instance, a child was waiting, sitting in the road at night. A passing motorist rolled down their window to check if something was wrong. Then, several other children on bicycles emerged. They yelled obscenities at the driver, who immediately left.

The news has reached police departments. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Falls Township Police have received four reports in October. Lieutenant Nelson Whitney is urging children to use their heads.

“This is a very dangerous thing for children to do,” Whitney told WBCB. “Children riding bicycles on roadways are required to obey the rules of the road for their own safety as well as the safety of the motorists they share the road with. These children are putting their lives in danger and need to stop this behavior immediately.”

The trend seems more widespread. In Abington Township, police are asking parents to speak with their children.

But in New York state, one lawmaker wrote a law targeting the practice. In Levittown, NY (not to be confused with Levittown, PA), the community held a forum addressing the issue.

The same lawmaker, John Ferretti, says children organize the massive rides via social media. They film their expeditions, and the goal is to garner attention and views.

And while the Falls Township Police only received four reports, the trend is more widespread. Dozens of Lower Bucks residents have taken to social media to share their stories of youth playing chicken on the roads.

An inquiry sent to the Bristol Township Police Department has not been answered as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.