BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Burlington Recreation & Parks, police and fire are working together to put on a bike safety awareness day, also known as the city’s first multi-agency “Bike Rodeo” event.
The city has had similar events in the past, hosted by individual city departments, but organizers are coming together this year to make it a joint agency effort.
The goal is to teach kids how to protect themselves on bikes, while riding recreationally or for travel.
“Car versus bike, or a car versus pedestrian, is never good. So we want to teach them how to be safer on the road,” said Sgt. Sam Epps, with the Burlington Police Department.
With spring around the corner, first responders expect to see more kids coming out on their bikes as the weather warms up.
In the hopes of notifying people about the upcoming event, they’re making a promotional video to inform families. It’ll start airing on the city’s local television channel and the city’s Facebook page later on this week. The actual event is Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Burlington’s Holly Hill Mall.
The promotional video features local kids and first responders demonstrating what people will learn when attending the bike safety awareness day.
“Bicyclists have to follow the same laws as most of the other motoring public -- stopping at stop signs, stopping at stop lights, using hand signals when making a turn left or right,” Epps said.
Families are encouraged to bring their child’s bicycle and safety equipment. Attendees will learn how to properly wear a helmet, how to navigate on sidewalks/streets/roads and the correct seat height for a rider on their bike.
First responders will also inspect bikes and fix minor problems with them.
Capt. Jay Mebane, with the Burlington Fire Department, says the event is free and could possibly save a child’s life.
“Take the appropriate measures to protect yourself. We want to discourage any injuries that can result in scars, bumps, bruises and worst case scenario something that leads to taking a trip to the hospital through an ambulance,” Mebane said.
The event is targeting kids but anyone is welcomed stop by the free workshop to learn about bike safety.
Burlington officials did not have statistics immediately available concerning bicycle accidents or injuries in the city. However, officials with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say children (5-14 years old), adolescents and young adults (15-24 years old) have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments.