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Katy cyclists have rules of the road

It’s been a beautiful spring, with endless days of sunshine. The summer promises more of the same fabulous bike riding weather. Before the kids hop on their bikes and ride off into the sunshine,  it’s time for one of those periodic bike safety chats. Accidents happen, and none of us wants to be the parent sitting with their kids in the emergency room with a bike related injury.

First, since head injuries are the most serious, bikers should always protect their head by wearing a helmet. The helmet should meet safety regulations, be the right size, and be worn properly. Next keep the kids’ bikes in good shape. A chain that keeps slipping off or breaks that don’t work is a recipe for problems.

Kids should know the safety rules of the road. They should always keep an eye out for cars. A driver might not see your child until it’s too late, but if they are in the habit of being aware of cars, they can prevent accidents. The next one may not see so obvious. They should watch out for people so they don’t have an accident with a walker or another child playing in the yard. Parents should set and enforce the rules for where their children can ride bicycles, but in general it’s best if children under 10 keep to the sidewalks.

Finally our kids should also know the proper hand signals, so they can let drivers know what they intend to do:

  • Left Arm Straight Out: means the rider is turning left.
  • Left Arm Bent Upward: means the rider is turning right
  • Right Arm Straight Out: also means a right turn.
  • Left Arm Bent Down: means the rider is stopping.

There are a few more tips about “Bike Safety” at the Kids Health website at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/out/bike_safety.html.

Also check out the Katy Police Department. The Department offers free bike safety coloring books at the police station. There is also a “Bicycle Registration Form” available on their website at: http://www.katypd.com/Bicycle%20Safety/Bicycle%20Registration%20Form.htm.

Fill out the form and take it into the police station with pictures of your children’s bikes. What other bicycling safety tips do you know of? Are there special rules for your family that others might find helpful?

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