Safety stressed for bike to school day

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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WICHITA, Kan. Area kids laced up their shoes and started pedaling this morning for bike to school day. Several local schools participated in the national event, but the largest celebration was at Spaght Magnet Elementary School.

"We normally get one or two bikes out here, but as you can see, you know I think we have over 20 today." said P.E. Teacher Ernesto Alcantara. "All you have to do is make one difference and hopefully one of these students is a little bit safer, to school by walking or riding their bike and also staying physically active."

Students were entertained by getting first hand experience inside emergency vehicles, but the overall aim of the event is to raise awareness about bike safety.

"We want to make sure, if these kids are biking or walking, that they know the rules of the road," said Safe Kids Coalition Coordinator Ronda Lusk. "A lot of times, we either don't take time to teach them, or we may not know all the rules that need to teach them."

Lusk says more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport. To help reduce incidents, students were provided helmets thanks to a grant.

"This is great, we never had helmets," said parent Travis Rogers. "Our bikes are new, but not our helmets, and for my kids to have helmets I feel very safe."

Safe Kids Wichita Area reminds families to follow these tips when biking:

1. Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible.

2. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers to make sure they are paying attention before crossing the street.

3. Use appropriate and signals and respect traffic signals.

4. Make sure bikes and kids are equipped with reflective material for any riding done at night.

For a complete calendar of activities remaining in bike month, a link is provided. Next Friday the 16th is bike to work day.


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