Bike Ban?

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Last week we told you about a Wauconda grade school in Lake County that banned students from riding bikes to school. Now, a local politician is making sure that doesn't happen here.

Illinois Sen. Dave Syverson says Wauconda school district officials say too much traffic makes it unsafe to ride bikes; a child was hit by a car while riding to school earlier this year, but Syverson says state school officials say such a ban is unusual in Illinois.

The ban in Wauconda goes into effect August 27. Extended Web Coverage

The Importance of Helmets

Your children should wear helmets every time they ride bicycles, skateboards, inline skates or scooters. It’s estimated that 75 percent of bicycle-related deaths among children could be prevented with a bicycle helmet.

Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes and is the most important determinant of death and permanent disability. The single most effective way to reduce head injury from bicycle crashes is to wear a helmet.

Riders who don’t wear helmets are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than riders who do. Unfortunately, national estimates report that helmet use among child bicyclists ranges from 15 to 25 percent. It is lowest among children ages 11 to 14.

Collisions with motor vehicles are another significant risk factor. It is estimated that motor vehicle collisions account for nearly 90 percent of all bicycle-related deaths. Collision with a motor vehicle increases the risk of death, severity of injury, and probability of head injury.

What to Look for in a Helmet

Make sure that the helmet meets or exceeds safety standards. Look for an ASTM, Snell, ANSI or CPSC certification sticker inside the helmet and on the box.

The helmet should sit on the top of your child's head in a level position, cover his/her forehead, and not rock forward and back or from side to side. Bring your child to the store to try on helmets before you purchase one. Ensure that your children always ride with their helmet straps buckled. Let your children pick out their own helmets. If they like their helmets, they will be less likely to take them off when you are not around.

Rules of the Road

Children should be restricted to sidewalks and paths until they reach the age of 10 and can demonstrate they know the rules of the road. Supervision is essential until children develop the necessary traffic skills and judgment.

  • Ride with traffic, not against it. Ride as far to the right as possible.

  • Use appropriate hand signals.

  • Stop at all stop signs and red lights.

  • Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left at intersections.

  • Don’t ride when it’s dark. If riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening is unavoidable, wear retroreflective material on clothing or bike and use lights on the bike.

Source: (National Safe Kids Campaign Web site) contributed to this report.