(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the Tewksbury Police Department.)
The Tewksbury Police Department would like to help ensure the safety of local children by hosting a Bike Rodeo at the Tewksbury Recreation Center (286 Livingston Street) on Wednesday, June 20 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (rain date is June 21).
On average, 250 children in the United States under the age of 14 die each year because of a bicycle crash. Another 300,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for severe head injuries. Many of these accidents could have been prevented if these children were riding safe bikes, wore bicycle helmets, and knew the basics about safe bike riding.
The Tewksbury Police Department, Lowell General Hospital, AAA Southern New England, Burger King (1965 Main St.), and several local businesses are doing their part to decrease bicycle fatalities and injuries. At the Rodeo, members from the Emergency Department at Lowell General Hospital will be educating the public- children, parents, and even adult cyclists- to the need for head protection.
Tewksbury Police Department would like to not only encourage children to wear a bike helmet, but to also wear them correctly. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%. Wearing a bicycle helmet is such a simple way to help ensure your child’s safety. Parents may think their children are safe riding around the neighborhood, however, research tells us that most serious bicycle crashes occur on a quiet neighborhood street.
The Bike Rodeo will be part of a “Safe Summer Kickoff” program, which we will be hosted in collaboration with the Tewksbury Public School Department. Children need to bring their bikes & helmets for inspection before going through an obstacle course designed to teach them about various aspects of bicycle safety. All children who complete the Rodeo will have a chance to enter a raffle for a new bike. There will also be arts & crafts at this event, as well as a special appearance by the Lowell Spinner’s Canaligator.
Ten tips for safe bike riding: (from Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- 1. Always wear a bike helmet.
- 2. Stop and check traffic before riding into a street.
- 3. Don’t ride at night.
- 4. Obey traffic signs and signals.
- 5. Ride on the right-hand side of the street.
- 6. Check your brakes before riding.
- 7. Give cars and pedestrians the right-of-way.
- 8. Wear light or bright-colored clothing so that motorists can see you.
- 9. Be extra careful turning left – motorists don’t expect it.
- 10. Avoid broken pavement, loose gravel and leaves – which can cause you to lose control of your bike.