Another school year begins: time for some bicycle safety tips

Streets will be busy again as another school year begins in Fort St. James.

  • Wed Sep 7th, 2016 2:00pm
  • News

Kiaya Morrisey with helmet on

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Streets will be busy again as another school year begins in Fort St. James.

This also means that there will be an increase of people on bicycles so what better time to review some safety tips for cyclists, motorists and parents.

The most important safety tip according to the Fort St. James RCMP is wearing a CSA approved helmet.

A head injury can mean brain injury and for Sgt. Poppy Hallam from the Fort St. James RCMP, this couldn’t be more true.

“Many officers have seen lives saved because of helmets,” Hallam said.

“We do still see many people cycling without helmets and we want to remind the public that the risks are real, that serious injury can occur not just from collisions with motor vehicles but from something as simple as catching a rut in the shoulder and hitting a hard object.”

For Hallam, these accidents can be fluke in nature but can have devastating consequences.

The RCMP is warning the public that violation tickets are being issued for “cycling without a required bicycle helmet”, contrary to Section 184(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act which carries a $29 fine.

Bicycle safety tips to teach children according to the RCMP:

–          Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of injury or death to children so it’s important to teach them about traffic and pedestrian safety.

–          Bikes are not toys.

–          Always wear a CSA approved helmet.

–          Let kids pick their own helmet – they are more likely to wear it.

–          Riders must follow the traffic rules, the same as car drivers.

–          Riders must obey all signs and lights.

–          Riders should use signals when turning or stopping.

–          Ride in single file with the flow of traffic. (right side of the road)

–          Bikes should be equipped with proper safety equipment including a headlamp and reflectors.

According to bicyclesafe:

–          Your bike helmet should fit properly and you should not wear a hat under your helmet. Make sure it is worn level to the forehead. The straps should always be fastened.

–          It’s important to remember that even experienced cyclists have accidents. You can’t always prepare for a fall.

–          Wear bright clothes and affix reflectors on your bike for added safety. Avoid wearing loose clothing so nothing gets caught in your bike chain and never ride barefoot.

–          Avoid wearing headphones because music can distract you from hearing noise such as other vehicles around you.

–          Parents should discuss approved biking areas especially to kids 10 years and under who should consider riding on the sidewalk rather than on the street. In turn, they need to be mindful of cars and trucks and all vehicles pulling out of driveways.

For more information on bicycle safety visit: http://bc.cb.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/