Lazy Bicycle Riding Parents Will Get Their Kids Killed
Bicycle riding is a great way to get exercise, a cost effective way to get around and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors…but it will kill your kids!
Of all the bicycle riders I have seen in my city over the past few years, only a tiny fraction of them have actually come to a full stop at a stop sign. They usually slow down, take a quick look to see if there are any cars and zoom right through. Others will slow down, make eye contact with the driver and zoom right through the intersection even if they don’t have the right of way. It’s just pure laziness. Some even like riding on the sidewalk and even when you start making your turn, legally, they keep going, yell at you and flip you the bird for having the nerve to get in THEIR way. Now these people are idiots and someday their luck will run out but it’s the kids that I worry about.
I have seen a lot of parents riding their bikes with their kids. It looks like they’re having fun until you’re at an intersection and notice a parent approaching a stop sign, slowing down, taking a look around and flying right through the intersection with the kid right behind. What are these parents teaching their kids? How to be lazy?
Do these people not understand that bicyclists must follow the same rules as motor vehicle drivers? Do they think that a stop sign is just a suggestion? Do they think their helmet and spandex pants will protect them against a vehicle surrounded by metal and weighing over a ton?
When I was a kid, the police would have bicycle rodeos at our school. They would explain the rules; show us what to do and have us all do it so that we understood. Not once do I remember the officer saying to just fly right through an intersection. I do remember them saying that bikes belong on the road and not the sidewalk. I wonder why they don’t offer that at schools today.
Now with such an emphasis on bicycle riding, you would think that a city would take the initiative to teach school age kids the rules of the road. The bicycle safety course I took was over 40 years ago so there are a few generations since then that don’t know what the actual rules are. If they don’t know, how are they going to teach their kids? This is why so many parents lead their kids through intersections with stop signs.
If you’re a parent who likes to ride bicycles with their kids on the street, take a few minutes to do an online search on safe bicycle riding. Teach your kids the right way to bike safely. You should also teach them how to spot potential danger as well. A few things to look for: – Has the car approaching the intersection come to full stop or a “rolling” stop? They may just be in a rush and think they can turn in front of you before you get close. – With cars at all points of the intersection, wait until you can safely go through. Some drivers are even nice enough to wave you through before they go. – If the intersection is too busy and you want to make a left hand turn, get off the bike, stand on the corner and walk your bike across the road when it is safe to do so.
Here’s an excerpt from an article in The Times:
“Of the 122 deaths (in 2012), 106 are known to have taken place due to a collision with a motor vehicle, while a number of the remaining deaths are still being investigated. In 61 of the fatalities, a car was involved. Lorries and HGVs were involved in 25 deaths, vans in ten deaths, coaches or buses in five deaths, taxis in three deaths, and two fatalities occurred after a collision with a motorbike. In almost all cases, the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the collision was unhurt”.
From the Boston Children’s Hospital website:
“A total of 130 children and adolescents ages 14 and under died in bicycle-related crashes in 2002…More than 285,600 children and adolescents ages 14 and under were treated for bicycle-related injuries at hospital emergency rooms in 2003…Head injuries are the most common and severe form of injury, accounting for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths…and about one-third of hospital emergency room visits (were) for bicycling injuries…Motor vehicles are involved in the majority (90 percent) of bicycle-related fatal crashes.”
Don’t be lazy. The few minutes longer your bicycle ride is may just save your kid’s life.