Saskatchewan proclaims bike safety week
REGINA – The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute asking communities to work together this week to promote safe cycling. The non-profit organization and its partners will be engaged in activities to encourage families and kids to follow traffic rules and stay out of harm’s way while biking.
The minister responsible for SGI, Don McMorris, designated May 11 to 17 “bicycle safety week” in Saskatchewan. The awareness week is held to remind people about practising safe cycling habits.
The institute is asking parents and guardians to be role models for safe behaviours, including wearing a helmet and teach children the skills they need to enjoy themselves without getting hurt.
What are safe cycling behaviours?
- Riding single file on the right-hand side of the road;
- Using correct hand signals;
- Walking bikes across pedestrian crosswalks;
- Obeying traffic rules, lights and signs;
- Wearing proper clothing and footwear;
- Watching for obstacles and be aware of road conditions;
- Keeping bikes in good mechanical condition; and
- Equipping bikes with reflectors when cycling at night or times of poor visibility.
In 2013, there were 187 collisions involving bicyclists in Saskatchewan, resulting in 151 injuries and two deaths.
Saskatchewan does not have a bicycle helmet law, although SGI strongly encourages everyone to wear one while riding. A properly-fitted helmet helps protect the brain by absorbing the force of an impact, decreasing the risk of a serious head injury.
Communities can promote safe cycling initiatives by:
- Rewarding riders for helmet use;
- Subsidizing helmet cost via programs;
- Holding safety events;
- Introducing bylaws regarding bicycle helmet use; and
- Holding bike repair clinics.
According to a fiscal 2012-13 report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, cycling in the third most common sports injury in Saskatchewan. This only accounts for injuries severe enough for an inpatient admission.
For more safety information visit the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.
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