COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Bicycling on the roadway is dangerous no matter your age, but is especially deadly for teenagers.
On Wednesday morning during “National Bike to School Day,” Columbus police were out on the streets helping children learn the rules of the road.
Details provided by Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that every year 400,000 children are treated for bicycle accidents. Officials said that is why events like Bike to School are so important.
“So, we are going to ride safely to one side and stay in a line together,” said Sgt. Duane Mabry, with Columbus Police bike patrol.
Before herding 22 student bikers from Salem Elementary safely to school, Sergeant Mabry emphasized the three B’s to the students when riding on the road: Be seen, be predictable, and be paranoid.
Even with training wheels Mabry says it is never too early to learn road safety.
“Bicycle versus car accidents occur because the driver did not see you as a bicyclist,” said Bike Officer Scott Clinger.
In fact, stats from Nationwide Children’s Hospital show teens aged 14-18 are 4 times more likely to die from accidents than young children.
Salem 4th grader Julia Quigley helped lead the bike group to school.
“I think it is a great way to get exercise and it is better for the earth, so it is a good thing to do,” Quigley said.
Her teacher took it a step further.
“I think it would be a wonderful city if everyone biked as much as they could,” said Jill Cohen, who teaches third, fourth, and fifth grades at Salem Elementary.
Columbus law states that bicycle riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet when riding on the road. Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports in 9 out of 10 fatal bicycle accidents, the rider was not wearing a helmet.