Schools, cities, law enforcement agencies, parents and traffic safety partners across the United States are putting on Bike to School Day events on May 8 to encourage active transportation to and from school.
Bike to School Day first started in 2012 as a way for schools to emphasize the importance of safe routes for students and the benefits of bicycling.
In California, the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is asking the public to be mindful of activities near and around schools.
“There are many ways to get around other than a car, and riding a bicycle is how many students in California travel to school,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “Bike to School Day is a great way for communities to highlight something active, fun and viable.”
OTS provides the following tips for parents and caregivers to educate their children on ways they can stay safe biking to school:
- Make sure they are always wearing a properly fitted helmet. Helmets are required for all riders under 18.
- Test them on traffic rules, like stopping at stop signs and hand signals for turns.
- Your child should ride on a sidewalk if they can, or in the same direction as traffic as far to the right as possible.
- Emphasize the importance of avoiding distractions, like using a phone or wearing earbuds.
- With an increased presence of children on bikes, drivers should use extra caution around schools.
Drivers are urged to follow best safety practices like stopping at stop signs, yielding to children crossing the street, not driving distracted and allowing at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle.