WHITMAN — Whitman Police Resource Officer Kevin Harrington met with students and parents Friday, Sept. 4 to discuss bike safety awareness at the Whitman Library.
With a hearty round of high fives and a discussion about wearing the correct clothing and shoes to cycle safely Harrington demonstrated hand signals, and talked about the importance of wearing a helmet.
Harrington always wears his helmet when he rides his police-issued mountain bike, stressing that even adults need to protect themselves from an accident.
“You are never too cool for a helmet,” he said. “It will protect your brain and Massachusetts law cites helmets must be worn until age 16.”
Cyclists also have to obey the rules of the road such as adhering to light signals and stopping at stop signs.
Crossing you bike from one side of the street to another is safer than riding through the street and riding a bicycle is a great form of exercise, said Harrington.
Keeping yourself visible for drivers is a key point in safe bike riding and as a walker outside; including wearing reflective strips in darker light, using cross walks and making eye contact with the passing driver signaling you see one another.
Harrington admitted to falling off his bike and eventually some of the children did, too. In a light hearted moment he encouraged them to get back on their bike and try again, because everyone falls off sometimes.
The nonprofit government agency Old Colony Planning Council Senior Transportation Planner Ray Guarino and Jimmy Pereira Community Transportation Planner were on hand to present free bike bells, lights and neon strips, which can be worn on wrists or legs to glow in the dark. They also addressed proper hand signals in the street so cars will observe your path.
Harrington closed the event by reading the book, “Officer Buckle and Gloria” by Peggy Rathmann.
Harrington is currently working on grant funding to receive more bike helmets as the department has given out their allotment.
See photos from the day at the Whitman-Hanson Express’s Facebook page.