MONTOURSVILLE – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Safe Kids PA Lycoming County Partner, the Highway Safety Network, the Jersey Shore Recreation Committee and Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police today held a bike rodeo in Jersey Shore to highlight bicycle safety and encourage helmet use while promoting National Bicycle Safety Month.
The 4th annual event was held in memory of 12-year-old Jacob Walters who tragically died in a bicycle crash in September 2015. Community donations and a Bike to School Day grant from Safe Kids Worldwide made the event possible. Sixty-three children participated in the event.
“We hope the children who attend this event practice the safety lessons they learned today. It is encouraging to see so many children riding bikes in one place at one time, all wearing their helmets,” said Mike Diehl with the Highway Safety Network.
Participants in the bike rodeo learned bicycle laws and safety tips and had the opportunity to ride on a bicycle course set up for the event. Children in need also received free bicycle helmets donated by Safe Kids PA Lycoming County Partner, ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation and through community donations. Anyone interested was able to register his or her bike with the police department in case it is ever lost or stolen.
According to PennDOT 2017 data, there were 1,142 statewide bicycle crashes resulting in 96 suspected serious injuries and 21 fatalities, an increase from 16 fatalities the previous year. Pedestrian crashes accounted for 150 fatalities in 2017.
Pennsylvania law requires all children under the age of 12 to wear an approved bicycle helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on a pedalcycle, or in a trailer towed by a pedalcycle.
Bicycle helmets should fit level on the head with the straps adjusted so that the helmet cannot move from side to side or back and forth and should be replaced about every three years, following a bicycle crash or at visible signs of damage.
Additionally, PennDOT offers the following safety tips for bicyclists of all ages:
- Wear light-colored, reflective clothing so you can be seen;
- Consider wearing an approved helmet and other protective gear;
- Children under 12 years of age must wear an approved safety helmet;
- Ride on the right side of the road;
- Signal your intentions in advance; and
- Consider attending training to obtain the skills necessary to ride safely on the road.
For more information about bicycle safety, visit PennDOT.gov, click on “Travel in PA” and then “Ride a Bike” or call 877-723-6830.