|Bicycle Safety Education|
Helmet Order Information - Safe Routes to School - Bike Driver Check List - Should We Wear ID? - Had an Accident? Got Questions? - BikeSmart - Bike Safety Fairs - Educators' Network - Certified Instructors
Safe Routes to School Funding by Aimee Pope
Walk This Way! by Alice Charkes
Safe Kids USA and FedEx awarded the Green Street Task Force a $10,000 grant in 2009 through the Windham County SafeKids Coalition for pedestrian safety. The first objective was the installation of a permanent, solar-powered radar feedback sign and the second objective was the reconstruction of the existing crosswalk with StreetPrint markings to make it more visible to motorists. The project was completed on August 15, 2009 and it was a very positive experience for the community in several ways. First, parents, children, and staff at the Green Street School were able to see changes in pedestrian safety in the space of one year. They were very, very happy with the project. As the project manager, I was often stopped by parents and staff and congratulated on the work, and at a parent meeting on the first day of school, I received an ovation. Second, residents of Green Street were provided with a safer street; the results of the survey indicated that residents felt both enthusiasm and gratitude for the project. Last, the Task Force was able to make connections with two FedEx employees, Tom Clark and Scott Mitchell, who were grateful to see a tangible, positive connection made between FedEx and pedestrian safety on Green Street. Unfortunately, Tom left the area in mid-2009, but his replacement, Scott, is already talking about further plans for safety education at Green Street School in 2010. The Walk This Way program has been phenomenal for us in creating a safer street for all types of pedestrians and for forging an on-going relationship with FedEx, all in the space of 10 months. The Task Force is extremely grateful for the opportunity created by SafeKids USA.
The reconstruction of a pedestrian crosswalk near the Green Street School in Brattleboro greatly enhanced safety for students and adults.
(Photo courtesy of Alice Charkes)
A permanent, solar-powered speed sign in Brattleboro was made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of SafeKids USA and Fed Ex.
(Photo courtesy of Alice Charkes)
Vanished: the morning traffic jam next to CP Smith Elementary School in Burlington. Instead, more kids and their parents are walking to school, especially on "Walking Wednesdays" when the school supports "walking school buses" coming in from the surrounding neighborhoods. In Chittenden County, a pilot Safe Routes to School program also has kids in Richmond and Hinesburg walking & biking to school.
On the other side of the state, Norwich and Bradford have been organizing Bike to School Days -- meeting with wild success. 180 kids biked to school in Norwich in September 2005. (Photo: Bike to school in Bradford, VT - 2005.)
School districts and parents are catching onto this great way to build physical activity into kids' daily lives while seriously reducing school-side traffic jams.
For reference only (2006 info):
VTrans was seeking up to 30 schools to participate in this program! Applications were due May 5 -- and a letter of support is needed from both the school and the municipality!
Here's a quick summary of the program as we understand it (for reference only):
2006 - Application for program focusing on education, encouragement, enforcement efforts. Schools will receive up to $1500 toward educational & encouragement materials -- plus technical & organizing assistance in creating a school transportation plan, completing parent surveys, organizing walking school buses & bike trains, teaching kids & parents about bicycling & walking safely, route selection, event planning, punch-card encouragement programs, and more. Schools & communities interested in the construction fund program are strongly encouraged to participate in this education & encouragement program, as only schools that participate in education and encouragement activities to get more students walking & bicycling will be eligible for the construction round next spring. No local match is needed.
2007 - Application for construction funds will be available for projects within 2 miles of a school that will make it possible for kids to walk & bike to school will be accepted by VTrans in winter/spring 2007. If you want to apply for these funds, you are strongly encouraged to participate in the education & encouragement program. No local match will be needed.
By Mike and Edward Wimmer of ROAD ID. Here are some reasons why it’s important for everyone who bicycles, runs, and walks to wear identi?cation:
1. Paramedics and other ER personnel, for their own protection, do not want to go through personal belongings, like bike bags, fanny packs, saddle bags, helmets, etc. These things are left behind for the police. Often times clothing is cut off and left. The only ID that will go with you to the hospital is the one you are wearing.
2. The HIPPA Law (Patient Privacy Act), makes it dif?cult to ?nd someone who has been admitted to a hospital as an unidenti?ed person.
3. We should never depend on our running/cycling/walking partners/friends in the event of an accident. They are nice to have around, but in an emergency situation, we ?nd out that they know very little about our medical history, allergies and important family contact numbers.
4. We never want to minimize the peace of mind we give to ourselves and to our families when we are out there wearing ID. You cannot put a price tag on peace of mind.
The Coalition works hard to educate motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians so Vermont’s roadways are safer for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s good to know what to do if you are involved in an accident while you are bicycling, walking, or running. Incident and police reports can be valuable, especially if there is signi?cant personal injury or property damage involved. If you have suffered harm and you are wondering if it might be appropriate to consult an attorney, you can call the lawyer referral service offered by the Vermont Bar Association. The number to call is: 1-800-639-7036. A VBA staffer will be glad to make some suggestions based on your particular circumstances and there is no fee to make this call. Local Motion and the Coalition are working with the VBA to make it easier for bicyclists to get needed info from the VBA web site.
BikeSmart emphasizes safe "bicycle driving," with four core skills.
BikeSmart ties into the Vermont Frameworks for education. Educators may want to read our 2-page description linking the curriculum to the frameworks.
In the Spring of 2005, we served a total of 60 schools across the state with our BikeSmart program. We have about 30 volunteer instructors in the program -- thanks to our great instructors for making this program a reality! The schools and classroom teachers gave us great reviews!
In 2005 and 2006, more schools requested the program than VTrans and the Coalition were able to serve. The program also reached more schools (145) than it was originally scoped to accommodate (110). In addition, some BikeSmart-trained instructors provided instruction in the schools without the financial and administrative support of VTrans or the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition.
Interested in teaching? We do still need instructors in key areas of the state, particularly Manchester/Bennington and surrounds. Our instructor corps consists of bicycle enthusiasts from around the state. You should be somewhat comfortable talking to 9-10 year olds, but we will provide a complete curriculum and "spiel" for you to use -- including recommended skits, props, overheads, and videos. If you are interested in teaching in Vermont schools, please apply below! A full one-day training is required, and we expect that you will likely teach in 2-3 schools in your area each school year. A small stipend is available to defray expenses for each school at which you teach.
We look forward to having you as an instructor!
A bicycle safety fair (aka bicycle rodeo) simulates real-life traffic conditions, to teach children the skills they need for safe bicycling in their neighborhood or to go to school. A well-designed safety fair is more than just a "ride around the cones" exercise. Most bicycle safety fairs also distribute low-cost helmets -- but a helmet alone is not what makes for a safe child bicyclist!
Hosting a bicycle safety fair: If you are interested in hosting a bicycle safety fair in your community, we recommend that you take our training -- and /or team up with someone who is already trained. In 2003 and 2005, Vermont SAFE KIDS and the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition trained over 60 police officers, teachers, school nurses, scout master, and community service volunteers from around the state. Please use this list of individuals trained in Bicycle Safety Fairs to contact someone near you who may be able to help. As a host organization, you will need to provide a number of local volunteers, as well as organizing assistance for this morning or day event. At this time, we do not have a large corps of volunteers or staff to assist.
Prop kits available: Vermont SAFE KIDS and the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition have assembled several prop kits that are available for check-out in 8 locations around the state. Here is more information on the prop kits and how to reserve them.
Low Cost Helmets: Vermont SAFE KIDS sells low-cost, certified helmets for $7.75 each, with a minimum order size of one dozen (12) helmets. Here is the order form. Please allow 3 weeks for delivery. Helmets may also be available in your community by partnering with your local hospital, doctors' office, etc. We recommend that you ask parents for a voluntary donation to cover the cost of the helmets, to encourage families to contribute as they can afford. Remember that things that are free are sometimes equated with worthlessness. We want helmets to be valued -- as are the heads they protect.
Safety Fair Handouts: By popular request! You can order (at cost) printed color handouts for your safety fair or other bike safety event from the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition. Includes basics of: helmets, clothing, bike safety check, rules of the road. Please use this order form and allow 10 days for delivery. You may also want to hand out fun activity sheets such as coloring handouts or bicycle-related crossword puzzles. Those are available to photocopy in the prop kit handbook.
The Vermont addendum to this guide provides some Vermont-specific recommendations & resources:
Teaching at a Bicycle Safety Fair in Vermont (core pages only) - PDF (1.2 MB)
Vermont has a number of nationally-certified instructors through the League of American Bicyclists. These instructors, known as League Cycling Instructors (LCIs), are available to teach adult bicycle classes (such as how to ride in traffic), and may be available for other instruction as well.
The Better World Club offers bicycle-only and car-and-bike membership, including insurance and free roadside assistance. Better World Club offers VBPC members a 10% discount on new membership. The VBPC receives a donation for every new sign-up.