Practicing safe bike driving is a great way for your family to exercise and have fun together. Bicycles are legally considered “vehicles” on Washington’s roadways. That means bicyclists must obey the rules of the road like drivers of any other vehicle. Please set a good example by following all motor vehicle laws (which apply to bikes just as they do to cars) and wearing your helmet properly every time you ride. Helmets are required for bicyclists under 16 and are just common sense for everyone else.
Did you know that in Spokane County, youth ages 10-17 are one of the two age groups most involved in bicycling collisions? Wearing a helmet correctly helps to reduce chances of brain injury by 88% and head injury by 85%. Bicycle helmets also prevent 52 to 60 percent of bike-related head injury deaths.
The following bike safety tips are for general riding on the trails or on the streets:
- Obey all regulatory signs and traffic lights.
- Never ride against traffic.
- Be predictable.
- Ride in a straight line.
- Always wear a helmet and never ride with headphones.
- Use lights and reflectors at night.
- Pass on the left.
- Dress for the weather.
- Keep your bike in good condition.
In collaboration with SafeKids Spokane, we have developed several bike safety tutorials that you can view on the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s YouTube Channel.
If your child does not have a bike helmet and needs help getting one, there are several local agencies that may be of assistance:
Spokane Valley Fire Department received a grant from the Eastern Region EMS and Trauma Care Council and is currently in the pilot phase of a bike safety / helmet program for 4th and 5th graders in our local schools. For more information, please contact the Spokane Valley Fire Department at (509) 892-4153.