SNVBC offers parents free helmets so kids can be safe while riding to school.
At the end of Q2, 2021, Clark County’s pedestrian fatalities were up 21.43 percent over last year, while bicyclist fatalities were up 400 percent, according to Nevada’s Department of Public Safety. When Clark County School District’s (CCSD) more than 320,000 students go back to school Monday, August 9, it’s estimated that 4 percent or 12,800 kids will use a bicycle as transportation, according to a 2019 survey that included parents from 52 CCSD schools. The survey also found an average of 22.5 percent or 72,000 students will walk to and or from school. Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition issues a reminder to motorists to Change Lanes for Bikes to protect Clark County’s youth.
Nevada is one of 33 states to enforce a 3-Feet law and is one of five states to specify that motorists should move into an adjacent lane to the left if the lane is available when passing a cyclist. Especially when driving through residential areas and school zones, SNVBC urges motorists to remain mindful of students riding or walking to and from school.
SNVBC also recommends that students commuting via bicycle practice the “Ride Safe: Know Before You Go“five critical points of cyclist safety in SNVBC’s program. Those are: Protect Your Head, Be Visible, Pick Bike-Friendly Routes, Be Predictable, and Ride Defensively. SNVBC partners with Clark CountySchool District’s Safe Routes to School program and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). Both offer resources to residents to help them find bicycle-friendly routes. More information is also available at www.snvbc.org/ridesafe.
“Just as we ask motorists to consider cyclists’ presence on the road, kids riding their bikes to school should practice these five points of safety to help protect themselves,” says Rob Hutchinson, SNVBC’s president. “Parents and students can reference resources online to map the most bike-friendly route for students riding to school.”
Hutchinson says SNVBC can help CCSD parents experiencing financial hardship to secure a helmet for their children. Those interested in receiving a helmet should contact [email protected]
RIDE SAFE: FIVE POINTS OF SAFETY
1. PROTECT YOUR HEAD
-A cyclist is only fully protected if their helmet fits properly.
-Helmets should be snug but not annoyingly tight.
-The rear adjustment wheel and the chin strap should be secured so that the helmet presses against the top of the cyclist’s head.
-Children’s helmets should fit when purchased and not considered something to grow into.
-Work with a local bicycle retailer to ensure a proper fit.
2. BE VISIBLE
-Cyclists must take measures to be sure drivers can see them.
-Use front and rear lights even during daylight hours. -Bright-colored clothing and gear can increase a cyclist’s visibility.
3. USE BICYCLE-FRIENDLY ROUTES
-Choose to ride on streets with designated bike lanes or wide shoulders. -Pick slow streets– roads with lower speed limits.
4. BE PREDICTABLE
-Cyclists should alert drivers by signaling turns. It’s recommended a cyclist signal 100 feet before a turn by extending their arm for two seconds in the direction of the turn.
-Cyclists should check over their shoulder for oncoming vehicles before making a left turn or changing lanes. -Cyclists should not do things like making a left turn across traffic unexpectedly, swerve between parked cars, or dart out of a driveway or off a sidewalk without warning.
5. Ride Defensively
-In addition to the four points above, cyclists should:
-Stay clear of the curbside
-At intersections, always make eye contact with the driver before proceeding. -Always assume motorists don’t see you, even if you have the right of way.
-Be wary of riding in a vehicle’s blind spot
-Be aware of pedestrians who may step into the road and car doors that may open.
To become a member of SNVBC, visit www.snvbc.org.