Be a safe rider heading into summer

Cst. Mike Hull of the Golden/Field RCMP talks about summer bike safety.

Cst. Mike Hull

Golden/Field RCMP

As we roll into summer and bicycle season, the Golden/Field RCMP Detachment wishes to remind the public of the importance of practicing safe riding.

Not only should all riders maintain their bicycles in good working order, while riding, they should also attempt to be as visible as possible to others, be sure to cycle in traffic safely and predictably, and familiarize themselves with and obey the rules of the road.

In the Province of British Columbia, all cyclists are required by law to wear an approved helmet with CSA, ANSI, ASTM, or SNELL standards approvals clearly designated within the helmet.

Individuals not wearing helmets while cycling could be subject to a $29 violation ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Although receiving a ticket may be enough to let the air out of anyone’s tires, individuals should wear a helmet not only to avoid a potential ticket but to minimize the risk of severe injury.

According to the East Kootenay Brain Injury Association, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the number one killer and disabler of young Canadians under the age of 40 and, every year, 50,000 Canadians sustain brain injuries.

Safe Kids Canada points out that a properly fitting bike helmet helps protect the head by absorbing the force from a crash or a fall, and decreases the risk of a serious head injury by as much as 85 per cent and brain injury by 88 per cent.

The important influence of adult role models on children’s helmet wearing behaviour can also not be underestimated while it has also been shown that investing resources in creating and enforcing helmet legislation to increase bike helmet use has significant cost-saving potential.

It has been estimated that for every one dollar spent on bike helmets, $30 in injury costs are prevented.

In an effort to promote and encourage the safe use of bicycle helmets, while on patrol this summer, the Golden/Field RCMP bicycle patrol will be watching for youth wearing helmets and rewarding them with vouchers for treats from local businesses.

A special thank you goes out to the following supporters: A&W, McDonald’s, Subway, 7-11, Dairy Queen, The Town of Golden Swimming Pool, and Club Penguin.  If you are a business owner and wish to support this initiative, please contact Constable Mike Hull at Golden/Field RCMP Detachment at 250-344-2221.  For further information on bicycle safety, please visit Bike Sense BC at www.bikesense.bc.ca

Happy riding!