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Safety Tips for Bike to School Day

Students from more than 100 Colorado schools are hitting the streets today in celebration of Bike to School Day. (SylwiaAptacy/Pixabay)
Students from more than 100 Colorado schools are hitting the streets today in celebration of Bike to School Day. (SylwiaAptacy/Pixabay)
May 4, 2016

DENVER - Colorado drivers are encouraged to be on the lookout for more and smaller bicycles on the road today. More than 100 schools across the state are participating in Bike to School Day, a national effort to disrupt dull transportation routines and get children's energy levels up for better learning in school.

Seth LaJeunesse, associate director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, said the event has grown every year since its 2012 launch.

"A lot of people might reconsider how they get to school and say, 'Hey, this is actually really fun,' " he said. "So the idea is that you start off with Bike to School Day, you might bike to school on that day, and then you might do that every Wednesday, creating this pattern of healthy habits."

LaJeunesse said parents should remind cyclists to stay alert and never assume vehicle drivers see them coming. Wearing bright colors is a good idea, he said, as well as making sure a helmet fits and is properly secured, and using hand signals before turning or coming to a stop. Public officials reminded drivers that bikes have the right to be on the road and to remember to stop at all crosswalks and use extra caution in hard-to-see conditions.

LaJeunesse said getting more children on bikes means fewer cars on the road, which is good for the environment and also improves air quality near schools because fewer cars are idling as parents drop off and pick up their children.

"It also, from a child's perspective, bicycling, walking gives them a sense of kind of independence and competence and confidence - in getting to school on their own power," he said.

More information about Bike to School Day, and how to get a child's school signed up next year, is online at walkbiketoschool.org.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO