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Local Sheriff Offers Children Back-To-School Bicycle Safety Tips

Submitted article

“With school back in session, children will again be riding their bicycles to and from school,” Sheriff Reuel A. Todd of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office predicts.

“All too often children, like adults, become creatures of habit and overlook simple safety precautions.  I would like to ask all school children that ride their bicycles to remember a few safety rules:

·    Wear a helmet.  In New York State, all bicyclists age one through 13 are required to wear approved bicycle helmets when they are operating a bicycle. Wearing a bicycle helmet has been shown to reduce serious head injuries by 85%.
·    Only one person belongs on your bike.  Never let a second person ride with you.
·    Allow plenty of room for a safe stop.  Never follow bikes or cars too closely.
·    Keep both hands on the handlebars for safe steering.
·    Always give proper signals.  Keep a firm grip on the handlebars with your right hand and use your left arm and hand to signal turns and stops.  Arm straight is a left turn; arm bent up at the elbow is a right turn; and arm bent down at the elbow is a stop.
·    Avoid riding your bike at night.  If you must ride at night, equip your bike with a good headlight and rear reflectors.  Wear light colored or reflective clothing so others can see you easily.
·    Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals.  Stop completely at stop signs and always look both ways before starting out again.”

The Sheriff explains that it’s easy for children to get into a routine in traveling back and
forth to school.  However, he stresses that children should remind themselves – and be reminded by their parents – that practicing safety everyday can save them from serious injury.

“Remember that a bicyclist is like a motorist,” Sheriff Todd concludes, “You must be skilled like an automobile driver in handling your vehicle and should always be cautious when traveling the roads.”