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Bike Rodeo promotes bicycle safety
Published: 08/22/2013 13:00:00
After a number of collisions this summer involving bicycles and vehicles, one in which a man was significantly injured, a local coalition involving the Juneau Police Department, Bartlett Regional Hospital, The Juneau Freewheelers, and Cycle Alaska decided to begin an awareness and educational campaign to help keep bicyclists safe, and they started off with a bike rodeo. PeggyAnn McConnochie, one of the coordinators of the event and a bicycle safety advocate, told us more.

"The Juneau Police Department is helping kids learn bike safety in what they call a bike rodeo. So kids are bringing their bikes here, they're learning first of all about the importance of wearing a safety helmet, first and foremost, and then they're learning skills such as how to stop at crosswalks, how to look and be aware of cars, how to make sure that they've got their bike skills down so they can maneuver around, how to stop before crosswalks where people are walking through crosswalks. These are all important skills that when you're a kid and you're just learning how to ride, nobody necessarily teaches you, so the police department is here helping them out, learning those basic skills."

Lt. Kris Sell of the Juneau Police Department explained about some of the ways they were creating excitement for the kids at the event.
"We are using lots of incentives for the kids today, we have free food from Subway, we've got these great bicycle pins, we have water bottles, frisbees, since we're going back to school we have erasers and pencils and we're very excited to have things for kids that they enjoy that they can put on their backpacks like a reflector that will also make them safer and more aware."

The campaign isn't just for kids; they're also doing things to increase drivers awareness, like the "Spot the Chief for a Ten Spot" campaign, where you keep an eye out for Chief Johnson in his spotted jersey to earn ten dollars. You can log onto the JPD website to learn a little more about that.

Lt. Sell continued by saying,
"What we're trying to do is train drivers that bicyclists follow the same rules of the road that they do. So when they see a bicyclist coming across, let's say a driveway, coming into the roadway, just like the car, the bicyclist on the main road has the right of way and the driver needs to yield to that bicyclist."

Mac Metcalfe, an accident victim and a bicycle safety advocate, leaves us with these sage words of advice.

"Remember to wear your bicycle helmet, they do save lives."

By: Rik Pruett -