Concern Over Kid Motorcycles

Riding around on Pocket Rocket patrol in Oakland, Calif., Lt. Dave Kozicki finds a father pushing his 3-year-old to ride.

"You can't let him ride that on the street," Kozicki tells the father.

Kozicki says he has seen an explosion of kids riding the 16-inch tall mini-motorcycles called pocket bikes or pocket rockets.

"These devices aren't street legal really you could get seriously hurt or killed driving them," says Kozicki.

Some cost less than $200 and while they may look like painful to ride, CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, their unique size has made them the sizzling hot item every kid wants this summer.

"My dad would say yes, but my mom would say it was too dangerous," says one kid.

They run on little lawn mower engines, which is just what they sound like and the gas-powered bike can go up to 60 miles-per-hour. Both the gas and a slower electric powered bike are marketed to children.

"First of all, they're low to the ground, and people can't see the operator," says Kozicki. "Second of all, a 10-year-old boy does not have a license (and) does not even begin to understand the basic rules of the road."

Take for example, Zack Grifey.

"I was all like 'wow, all my friends have one' and I was like, 'I wish I had one,'" says Grifey. "When I came home one day, I looked in the garage and saw it and I was so happy."

He had no idea it was illegal to ride it on the street. He thought it was OK for street legal "as long as I watch out for cars."

That's why Kozicki has taken his crusade against pocket rockets to California's capitol, hoping to make the law on pocket rockets crystal clear.

The Razor Company told CBS its pocket rocket should never be ridden on the street and suggests an age limit.

"Our box clearly recommends that this product is for 12 and up," says Razor spokesperson Katherine Mahoney.

But nowhere on the box does it say the bike isn't street legal.

Which is why Kozicki says most parents are surprised when their child's bike is impounded if they get caught riding on the street. And when they find out the truth, most give up the pocket rocket instead of paying for the tow.