Summer Pedestrian and Bike Safety For Kids
Rhonda Bolick with Safe Routes to School Program recently shared some tips to keep kids safe on the streets and the sidewalks in the summer.
According to Bolick, summertime safety is even more important due to the fact that kids are out of school and playing outside. Children should play in the backyard or a park away from the street, and children under the age of 10 should ride their bikes on the sidewalk. Also, no one should use phones while walking or driving.
Everyone should be aware of their surroundings, either while crossing the street or driving in an area with children.
“You do need to watch out for the children. They’re going to be smaller, not as tall as an adult, so you may not be able to see them. They get in their mind that they just want to cross the street quickly, and they just start out on the street. So we can slow down a little bit also as we are being aware,” said Bolick.
Bolick said pedestrians are more likely to die of an injury the faster a driver is going. At 23 mph, there is a 25 percent chance of being killed in an accident, while at 31 mph, it’s a 50 percent chance.
The Program teaches kids throughout the school year safe ways to play, and that includes not to play football or basketball on the street and find a safe place to play away from drivers.
Bike riders under the age of 10 should also ride on the sidewalk, even though it’s only a suggestion, not a law.
“If they’re going to ride on the street with their parents when they are younger, they need to learn the rules: Be on the right-hand side of the road, moving with the traffic. Know your hand signals, so you can warn them if you are going to turn right or left or stop or slowdown. And they have to be ready to follow the traffic signs, and if they are not ready to do that they should be on the sidewalk,” said Bolick.
In Austin the law requires that children under the age of 18 have to wear a bike helmet.
For more information, visit Safekidsaustin.org.