July 29th, 2011
ROAD RESPECT FOR KIDSUncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.
Teaching kids safe cycling rules was one common focus of the recent ROAD RESPECT Tour.
UDOT and the Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office recently sponsored a cycling tour to spread the word about ROAD RESPECT, a new program to promote safe driving and cycling. Cyclists took breaks along the way to join local residents at rallies and stops. Teaching kids safety rules was a big part of many of those events.
Children and teens ride bicycles at a higher rate than adults, according to an observational study completed by the Utah Department of Health. Unfortunately, young people make up the biggest percentage of cyclists hit by cars too. Teaching kids good riding habits can prevent injury and death among Utah’s most vulnerable cyclists.
Organizers of ROAD RESPECT events used a variety of activities to teach kids safe riding skills. In Salt Lake City, SLCPD conducted a bike rodeo at Sugar House Park. SLC residents can have an event of their own by contacting SLPD officers. The Utah Department of Public Safety, Highway Safety office also provides bike rodeos.
In addition to a rodeo, a skill-building course is a good way to help kids gain control on a bicycle. The one road respect event in featured a skills course that required kids to ride in figure 8 patterns, over bumps and lengthwise along a narrow board. The skills course was tough for some of the younger riders, but even the littlest ones showed improvement after a few tries.
Family rides were a part of many Road Respect events and rallies. Riding as a family gives parents a chance to teach good safety habits by example.
If you are planning a summer event – like a family reunion or a block party – consider adding a cycling activity along with good food and fun. Teaching safety in a fun environment is a good way to show kids good cycling habits.