Police chief encourages bicycle safety
A girl riding her bicycle across Cedar St. at Main St. May 9 was injured when she rode into front of a slow-moving truck.
Police chief Tyler Mermis said the girl, 12, was taken to St. Luke by her mother to be examined.
Mermis said that with summer coming on, he encourages parents to talk to their children about bicycle safety.
“Children riding bicycles need to be safe by looking both ways before they cross the street,” Mermis said.
He encourages children to wear a helmet, and perhaps knee and elbow pads, when riding.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Mermis said. “You know kids need to think about safety when they are riding their bikes.”
The police department offers bicycle safety courses when asked. Usually the school district requests officers to present bicycle safety classes, but none have been given recently, Mermis said.
Officer Duane McCarty said bike riders should obey the same laws as drivers. They should yield the right of way, stop at stop signs, yield at lights, and look both ways before riding into an intersection.
“If you’re on a sidewalk, you don’t go across the street without stopping and looking, because if the car can’t stop it’s you who are at fault,” he said.
Law requires bikes ridden at night to have a red reflector on the back and a white light on the front, he said.
“Lights are $5,” McCarty said. “There’s no reason anyone can’t have a light on their bike.”
McCarty also advised drivers to be more alert for kids both on bikes and on foot now that summer is here.
“In summertime, there’s going to be more kids out of school and we’re going to have more bicycles and kids walking,” McCarty said. “Be alert for the safety of our kids, especially today, when there are so many distractions.”
He also encourages parents to teach their children about bike safety.
“Parents, make sure your kids are taught to obey the laws,” McCarty said. “That’s an important one.”