(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by the Tewksbury Police Department.)
The Tewksbury Police Department and Tewksbury Rail Trails would like to help ensure the safety of local children by hosting its Annual Bike Safety Rodeo at the Tewksbury Memorial High School on Sunday, June 7th from 10AM-1PM. The event is free and open to all families in Tewksbury. Run the obstacle course, get your bike checked out, grab some fun giveaways, and enter your name to win donated prizes.
The statistics are staggering- on average, 250 children in the United States under the age of 14 die each year because of a bicycle crash. Another 300,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for severe head injuries. Many of these accidents could have been prevented if these children were riding safe bikes, wore bicycle helmets, and knew the basics about safe cycling.
Several local businesses and community groups will be joining in the effort by donating time & resources to the event. During the Bike Rodeo, members from the Emergency Department Team at Lowell General Hospital will be providing education on the need for head protection. The Tewksbury Police Department would like to not only encourage children to wear a bike helmet, but to also wear them correctly. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%. Wearing a bicycle helmet is such a simple way to help ensure your child’s safety. Parents may think their children are safe riding around the neighborhood, however, research shows that most serious bicycle crashes occur on a quiet neighborhood street.
Additional Tips for safety include:
Wear a Bike Helmet: Protect your brain, save your life. For more information see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fitting Your Bike Helmet.
Adjust Your Bike to Fit: Stand over your bike. There should be 1 to 2 inches between the rider and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if using a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back, and the height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.
Check Your Equipment: Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that the brakes work.
See and Be Seen: Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night. Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding, to make yourself visible to others. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
Control Your Bike: Ride with two hands on the handlebars unless signaling a turn. Place books and other items in a bike carrier or backpack.
Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards: Look for hazards that may make you crash, such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. If riding in a group, the rider in front should yell and point to hazards to alert other riders.
Avoid Riding at Night: It’s harder for other road users to see bicyclists at dusk, dawn or nighttime. Use reflectors on the front and rear of the bike. White lights and red rear reflectors or lights are required by law in all States.
For more information about this event or to get involved, please contact Officer Jennie Welch (978)851-7373, EXT 230.
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