Keeping Cyclists Safe, One Head at a Time
Early on a recent rainy Saturday Morning, DOT Safety Education staff were busily preparing for one of their many bike helmet fitting and giveaway events. Soon the raindrops tapered off, and Tompkins Square Park filled with parents and children ready for the Lower East Side Kids��� Art Bike Parade. Bike New York offered lessons to get kids riding, volunteers helped attach brightly colored ribbons, stickers, flags and flowers to the bikes, and DOT staff provided helmets and helmet fitting advice.
At DOT���s helmet fittings, visitors are measured and shown the proper way to wear their new helmets. They can also pick up a copy of the new NYC bicycle map and fun, bike safety activity books. Nearly 300 children and adults left the event in Tompkins Square Park geared up for safety with their new helmets and our "Be Safe, Be Seen" retro-reflective arm bands.
To date DOT has fitted and distributed over 25,000 free helmets to kids and adults throughout the five boroughs. DOT will conduct bike helmet fittings and giveaways all summer long at community events throughout the five boroughs. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the DOT���s online event calendar.
Tips for safe bicycle riding for you and your family
- Adults and kids over 12 should always ride on the street, not on the sidewalks.
- Wear a helmet, and make sure it���s fitted properly. Children under 14 must always wear a helmet, but helmets are recommended for everyone, even on short rides.
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings. Cyclists must come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs. Cyclists are required by law to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, motor vehicles or other cyclists.
- Use marked bike lanes or paths when available, except when making turns or when it is unsafe to do so, etc. If the road is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel safely side by side, cyclists have the right to ride in the middle of the travel lane. Bicycling is permitted on all main and local streets throughout the City even when no designated route exists.
- Do not ride on expressways, drives, highways, interstate routes and thruways unless authorized by signs.
- Do not wear more than one earphone attached to an audio device (e.g. radio, ipod, walkman).
- Stay visible using:
- White headlight and red taillights from dusk to dawn
- Reflective tires or reflectors
- Bells or horns
- Before heading out for a ride, make sure that your tires have air and your brakes are working properly.
When you���re on a bike, consider yourself the driver of a vehicle with the same responsibilities as all other drivers.
More Safety Resources
Free bike lessons for kids from Bike New York
Bicycle safety activities for you and your child from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Bicycle safety facts and myths from the American Academy of Pediatrics
New Think Safety! Newsletter
Safe Kids NYC announces the inaugural issue of Think Safety!, a biannual newsletter dedicated to keeping children healthy and free from unintentional injuries. Read the first issue, focusing on safety in the spring and summer.
Forward this email to a friend and tell them to sign up for monthly safety tips from DOT's Office of Safety Education, at www.nyc.gov/dotnews.