AP NEWS

Bicycle rodeo teaches children rules of the road

May 12, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Being safe on a bicycle? Child’s play.

The 24th annual Carrie Edgmon Bicycle Safety Rodeo Saturday focused on making sure local children know the rules of the road when they’re out on the town, two-wheel style.

The rodeo, hosted by the Bullhead City police and fire departments, included several safety courses on which youngsters could test their knowledge and their skills.

The “circle of confusion,” police officer Danny Crawford said, was an area without rules.

Later, the children rode on a marked course, complete with stop signs and cross traffic.

“We want them to see how less chaotic it is when everybody does what they’re supposed to do,” Crawford said.

One point the agencies wanted to drive home was to always wear a helmet. BCFD spokeswoman Lori Viles said that when community educators from the department visit schools, they stress the role the helmet plays in protecting a child’s brain.

The BCFD’s annual safety poster contest, open to all of the city’s second-graders, centers on the importance of wearing a helmet. Contest winner Lazland Campbell won a bike for his poster, which featured a multicolored helmet design.

Lazland would not be the only child leaving the Walmart parking lot with a bike. The store, one of the event’s main sponsors, offered two bikes for a drawing. The Bullhead City Police Officers Association usually also donates a boy’s bike and a girl’s bike, but this year opted to provide 20.

“The officers wanted to splurge and do something nice for their community,” said Lorrie Duggins, the BCPD’s community services officer.

Children who didn’t bring bikes could try out the course on loaner bikes.

Those who did could register them and receive free bike repairs and tune-ups, courtesy of the Bullhead City Morning Kiwanis Club, which provided the spare parts, and the Bullhead City Community Emergency Response Team, which performed the work.

The BCFD had free helmets to give out to the first 125 children to show up, thanks to sponsor Western Arizona Regional Medical Center.

Chelsea Redman said she lets her daughter, Caydence Young, ride only on local bike trails, but that knowing the road rules is still important.

“When she’s a little older, she’ll ride around the neighborhood,” Redman said.

Kaitlin Fulton brought her daughter, Charlize to test the skills she has been practicing. Charlize’s training wheels just came off in December.

“The rules of the road are probably the real important thing,” Fulton said.

Viles said that police and fire representatives wanted to make sure young bicyclists understand that they have to follow all traffic laws for vehicles, including stopping at stop signs and signaling turns.

She said bike riders should be observant of what motorists do, especially when they have the right-of-way.

“A lot of times, you think the cars are gonna stop, and they go through,” Viles said.