On Wednesday, July 29, Marco Island police officers George Guyer and Ryan Montgomery, along with school crossing guard Danielle Pisano, led Camp Mackle campers in bicycle safety training.
Mindy Gordon, Recreation Manager for the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation, coordinates with the Marco Island Police Department to bring bicycle safety training to Camp Mackle campers. Mindy tells us that since 2009, the bicycle safety program has been an important part of the camp curriculum.
Teaching was not limited to the classroom. The campers enjoyed an obstacle courses and a bike ride around the lake while learning importantsafety lessons.
Campers were taught to wear their helmets every time they ride their bike or scooter. Officers Guyer and Montgomery remind us that in the State of Florida it is the law that bicyclists under the age of 16 wear a helmet while riding. For those in need, free helmets are offered at the Marco Island Police Station.
Additional lessons campers learned:
- To follow the rules of the road;
- To obey traffic signs and signals just as if driving a car;
- To use correct hand signals;
- To stop at all signs and red lights; and
- To stop and look both ways before entering a street.
Officer Guyertells us “Safety is our number one concern.”
And the importance of bicycle safety for children cannot be overstated.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, 800 bicyclists were killed and approximately 515,000 suffered bicycle-related injuries requiring emergency treatment in the U.S. Half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20.
Each year, 26,000 children and adolescents suffer traumatic brain injuries from bicycle accidents, requiring emergency care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gateway to Health Communication, Head Injuries and Bicycle Safety, January 28, 2015. Helmet usage can prevent or reduce some of these injuries to children.