Safety tips from Safe Kids Florida Suncoast
Whether your child is riding a bike or walking to and from school or around your neighborhood, it’s important to help him or her understand the rules of the road. Below are some tips to help your family stay safe.
- Always wear a helmet. Children under 16 must always wear a helmet, per Florida law.
- Bicycles on the road are considered vehicles. When you’re riding a bicycle, you should obey all traffic signals and lane markings.
- Always ride on the right side of the road, so that you’re going with the direction of traffic.
- Always use a front white light and red taillight on your bicycle so that drivers on the road can see you better.
- Choose well-lit bicycle routes and wear reflective clothing.
- Yield to traffic when appropriate, even if you think you have the right of way. It’s better to be safe than to be right.
- Before you ride your bike, make sure it is adjusted properly for your height. Do an ABC check – air, brakes and chain — to make sure your bike is suitable to ride.
- When there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Be visible. Walk in well-lit areas and wear bright or reflective clothing.
- Be extra cautious and assume drivers do not see you.
- Use a crosswalk. Push the button to activate the walk signal, if one is available.
- Look left-right-left again and all around the intersection before you cross.
- Always continue looking as you cross the street.
- Keep your eyes on your surroundings whenever you’re near the road, and don’t let text messages or other notifications on your phone distract you.
For more information about bicycle and pedestrian safety, please contact Safe Kids Florida Suncoast at 727-767-7835.
Safe Kids Florida Suncoast, led by Johns Hopkins All Children’s, is a coalition of community organizations and partners committed to preventing injuries in children and adolescents, including reducing the frequency and severity of injuries and fatalities due to pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Some ways we do this include:
- Working with state and local PTAs, and other community venues, on workshops and meetings to raise awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Conducting annual International Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day with elementary schools.
- Improving bicycle and walking routes and promoting safety through the Safe Routes to School school-based program, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
- Increasing proper use of bike helmets in each county served and conducting trainings on bike helmet fit with FDOT-certified regional trainers to educate participants on proper helmet use and fit. This training also includes information on the importance of right-sized bicycles and Florida laws pertaining to bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Conducting bicycle rodeos and other bicycle safety training, both with children in person and through online videos.
Learn more about Safe Kids Florida Suncoast or find out how your organization can become a member of the coalition.
For more information on Safe Kids Florida Suncoast, please call us:
727-767-7835 or 800-756-7233
Press ext. 1 for Manatee, Pinellas or Sarasota, or ext. 2 for Pasco or Polk.
Use these tips while you’re getting some fresh air with the family on a walk, run or bicycle ride.
Rachelle Webb, the Safe Routes to School Community Educator at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, talks about the benefits of walking or biking to school.