(COLO) – When schools end for the year, kids and teens are more present throughout their neighborhoods. For many, the easiest and most independent mode of transportation is their bicycles. The Colorado State Patrol is asking parents for help in reminding their kids about the ‘rules of the road’.
Looking at injury and fatal crashes involving a bicycle over a three-year period (2019- 2021) that were investigated by the Colorado State Patrol, incidents were the highest over a five-month period from June through October with July being the peak month.
“We expect our motorists to share the road, however, it is equally important to prepare our children to be a predictable pedestrians and to cycle as safe as possible,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It’s easy to blame drivers, but they are not always responsible for these crashes. Go outside with your child for an annual review of traffic safety rules so that we can reduce the chance of a preventable tragedy.”
When looking at the three-year average of bicycle vs. vehicle crashes, over a quarter of these incidents (26%) involved people aged 17 or younger. The next largest groups were people aged 60-69 years old (21%) and 70-79 years old (12%).
“It is normal for kids to have difficulty judging the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles and it is also not unusual for kids to lack a sense of danger,” explains Chief Packard. “Going with your child to show them what to do at different kinds of intersections, traffic signs and challenging roadways will prepare them with the information they need to ride safely.”
Looking at the top citations issued by Colorado State Troopers over the last three years for bicycle and motor vehicle collisions the top citation for each group was identified.
Cyclists who were found to be at fault most commonly received a citation for riding into the path of a vehicle. Motorists were most commonly cited for failing to properly pass a bike on the left.
Perhaps the most important lesson for your cyclist when sharing the roads is to never assume you have the right-of-way. Your top priority at all times is to avoid a crash. So, have them swap out the earbuds for a properly fitting bike helmet and take them out into the neighborhood at the beginning of each summer season to review the ‘rules of the road’. Don’t forget the ‘Safety Stop’ that just went into effect this year.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.