Children and Bicycle Safety

Bicycle riding is fun, healthy, and a great way to be independent. It is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s a vehicle!

Safe Riding Tips from one.nhtsa.gov:

Before using your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. You should always
inspect your bike to make sure all parts are secure and working properly.


Remember to:
Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life. For more information see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publication “Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet.”
Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.

Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.

See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other
bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.

Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.

Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.

Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many States), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including suchthings as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road.

Walk Anywhere (safely) Week!

October 7 is International Walk and Roll to School Day and Decatur’s Safe Routes to School program is celebrating with “Walk Anywhere Week.” 

Take a walk anywhere in the community, post your photo, and tag it #walkanywhereweek, #gasaferoutes, #decatursaferoutes, #iwalk2020

Safe Routes to School at Glennwood ES

Glennwood Elementary Safe Routes to School Champions, Ingrid Rogan and Marishyl Ford, made a video of students talking about why walking and biking to school is fun and important. They showed the video at their last community circle to encourage new students to join in the fun. Take a look and get encouraged to walk or bike your children to school.

For more information on Decatur’s Safe Routes to School program, click here.

Bike Month Poster Contest: Deadline is March 9

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Throwback: Safe Routes to School 2011

This video was created in 2011 by the great parents at Clairemont Elementary to celebrate their six years of Safe Routes to School. In 2011 the school was recognized by the GA Safe Routes Resource Center. It still gives me the chills every time I watch it.

Enjoy seeing children and adults celebrating walking to school!

How to Lock Your Bike

The following information is from Momentum Magazine. Read the entire article here.

bike locked

Illustrator: Thomas James

A man sauntered into our neighborhood bike shop and examined the display of locks. He hefted the most impressive one, a massive, heavy chain, looked at the price tag and frowned. “I don’t know if I can afford it,” he said to the shop owner.

“Can you afford to have your bike stolen?” the owner replied.

This is, in a nutshell, the basic logic of bike security. Bikes are light and easily transported, convenient qualities not only for bike owners, but also for bike thieves. They’re also easily resold, infrequently tracked down by law enforcement, and too often perceived as an “assumed loss,” – many people simply expect to have their bicycle stolen at some point. As a result, bike theft is an absolutely massive – and growing – problem in many cities worldwide.

As the number of bicycles on our streets increase, so too do the number of people trying to make a quick buck off of their vulnerability. But your bicycle doesn’t have to be an assumed loss. By taking a few simple precautions and investing in a decent lock or two, you can basically ensure your precious ride will always be exactly where you left it.

Continue reading the article here.

And here is a good video for the school children on how to lock their bike at school.

Bicycle Safety Tips

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Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers

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Photo credit: Cathy Lo Davis

Driving Safety Tips from the National Safety Council:

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children

If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus

Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist

When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass

If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals

Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this

Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods

Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars

Check side mirrors before opening your door
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

 

Biking to School: Let’s Ride Safely

Take a test ride to school this week to figure out the best route and remember to have fun while riding safely.

The video below is a great reminder of bike safety for adults as well as children.

Bike Safety Poster Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the Bike Safety Poster Contest sponsored by Decatur Active Living and Bicycle South. Winners’ posters will be displayed around town during May, which is National Bike Month. Be on the lookout and  follow the safety tips!

For more information on Bike Month and biking in Decatur visit http://www.decaturga.com/biking.

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