Photo/Story Gallery 2008
FHP Pedals Bike Safety
Florida Highway Patrol’s Troop B recently participated in the 2007 Columbia County Fair. This year, FHP Lt. Mike Burroughs partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation, Wal-Mart, and the FHP Troop B Auxiliary to fit and distribute over 350 helmets to children free of charge. Additionally, a drawing was conducted to give away a boys and girls bicycle to two lucky kids.
Pictured left, FHP Troop B-Lake City Fair Booth 2007 focused on Bicycle Safety and right, Auxiliary Trooper David Evans fits a child with a free bicycle helmet at the Columbia County Fair.
Children wishing to enter drawing for the bicycle and be fitted with a free bicycle helmet were required to take a four-question bicycle safety quiz. FHP Auxiliary Troopers gave out bicycle safety information to the children while fitting them with free bike helmets.
FHP Auxiliary Troopers also seized the opportunity to inform parents and other drivers about Driver License Emergency Contact Information, a service to allow motorists to provide emergency contact information to law enforcement in the event of an emergency. This information may save crucial time if ever it becomes necessary to contact family members or other loved ones in case of a traffic crash or other emergency.
Pictured right, Auxiliary Trooper Kari Hilliard shares bicycle safety information with family members who recently visited the FHP Bicycle Safety booth at the Columbia County Fair.
FHP Auxiliary Troopers also shared information with parents and other drivers on Florida’s Move Over Law. Drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida. The Move Over Law passed during the 2002 session of the Florida Legislature, and was signed into law on May 1, 2002.
FHP Takes Bicycle Safety into the Classroom
Pictured left, FHP Lt. Michael L. Burroughs gets help from Tobie Williams to show her classmates how a properly adjusted helmet should fit.
“It is dangerous to be in traffic, even if you are careful and doing the right things,” Lieutenant Michael L. Burroughs told Laura Folsom’s 5th grade class at Summers Elementary School.
“Do you think that drivers are watching to see if you are there on your bicycle?” he asked.
Several children shook their heads “No.”
“What are they doing?” he asked.
“Eating food,” said one child.
“Talking on the cell phone,” said another.
“Texting,” “Looking to see what kids are watching on the DVD in the back seat,” others shouted.
Burroughs had just finished telling the class about their responsibilities – walking, facing traffic, riding with traffic, using hand signals, wearing bright clothing.
“Death rates are up 40 percent in the last two years in Florida for pedestrians and those riding bicycles and motorcycles,” Burroughs said.
When the discussion turned to ATVs, those four-wheel off road recreational vehicles, the children shared stories of friends who were injured or killed.
“You need even stronger safety helmets and safety gear for ATVs,” Burroughs said.
FHP Auxiliary Lt. Beaver Twist started the presentation by showing how padding can keep an egg from breaking and what happens without protection. “If that egg is your head, what happens to your brain?” he asked.
Pictured right, FHP Auxiliary Lt. Beaver Twist asks children if they should face traffic when riding a bicycle along a road.
A bike helmet with a cut-out was passed among the children, showing the plastic foam inside that protects a head; just as plastic foam protected an egg in the demonstration.
This was more than a demonstration; each child was given a safety helmet and shown how to adjust it to fit properly. Every child in the class received a helmet, even those who do not own a bike. “It’s likely that they will get a bike for Christmas,” Burroughs said. Or they will get a scooter or skateboard. The helmets were paid for by a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.
This was the first class in the area to receive helmets and the safety discussion. Mrs. Folsom learned about the project from her husband, Tim Folsom, a DOT employee and a member of the Columbia County Community Traffic Safety Team.