August means back to school, and thinking about new outfits, sharpened pencils, and getting your kids to school safely. If your child may be commuting to school themselves, make sure to send them off with proper instructions and equipment to arrive safely. And, of course, with an apple for their teacher.
If your child plans on riding a bike, skateboard, scooter, or another non-motorized vehicle, be sure they follow the basic rules of the road:
- Always ride on the right, tell your child to travel in the same direction as traffic when using a bike lane
- Always stop at all intersections
- Always look both ways before entering the street
- Always use hand signals before turning
Here are some helpful tips to get your child ready for Back to School:
Make sure your child never leaves the house without their helmet and understands the importance of always wearing one. A person under 18 years of age operating a bicycle, skateboard, scooters, and skates, is not permitted to do so without wearing a properly fitted safety helmet. C.V.C. 21212(a).
Note: if a minor is charged for not wearing a helmet, the parents are held responsible for the fine!
Plan Their Route
Determine whether your child is of proper age to ride on the street. Younger children should ride on the sidewalk and be accompanied by an adult if possible. When determining the route, consider the usual traffic conditions. This may require both of you to test out various routes in order to find the safest option.
Avoid Talking or Texting on a Cell Phone
While the law doesn’t restrict use of cell phones while operating a bike, you should still advise your child to refrain. This can easily distract them during their commute and could potentially lead to injury if they are not paying attention.
General Bike Maintenance
You should show your child how to do proper maintenance on the bike if they are able. This includes checking the tire pressure, brakes, and adjusting the seat and handlebar to the appropriate height. If you are unsure how to do this, call your local bike store and ask if you could bring your child in to learn.
Speak with your neighbors who have children that also bike to school. Consider organizing a group and designate a location for the children to meet. Set the time for the children to arrive and leave the location, and communicate with other parents if a child cannot make it to school that day.
Biking to school is not only a healthy and fun way to get to class, but can also become a valued childhood memory. So, make sure your child and their bike is prepared for the commute. Besides, how else are they supposed to trade their PB&J sandwich for their friend’s lunchable and Squeeze-it?
Bonnici Law Group is a San Diego based law firm who focuses on bicycle injury cases. Our goal is to arm San Diego families with the protection and representation they deserve if the worst happens on the local roadways. Our jokes may be corny, but our representation is always serious. Check us out at: http://bonnicilawgroup.com/bike-lawyer/ and feel free to ask questions or reach out for a free consult if you believe you may need help