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KIDS ON BIKES

RIDING ON SIDEWALKS
When you ride near people walking, don't surprise them! Slow down, and say "Excuse me!" or use a bell or horn.

ALLEYS & DRIVEWAYS: LOOK OUT!
Always look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT before an alley or driveway. If it's not easy to see, slow down or stop first.

AT CORNERS
Watch behind you for cars turning. Stop and look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT for cars. If a car's stopped at the corner, make sure the driver sees you before you go.

ENTERING A STREET
You shouldn't go into a street from the middle of a block. But if you do: Stop at the curb and make sure parked cars aren't about to move. Go to the edge of the parked cars. Before you cross, look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.

WHERE TO RIDE ON STREETS
WHAT SIDE TO RIDE ON?
Always ride in the same direction as the cars are going. Never ride against traffic. It's the easiest way to get hit! Ride about 3 feet from parked cars so you don't get hit by a car door.
Don't ride on streets unless your parents say it's OK!
Ride in a straight line. If you do, drivers will know where you're going. Then they'll stay out of your way!

If the street is too busy, get off your bike and walk in the crosswalk.

STOP SIGNS AND TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Stop or slow down.
Look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.
Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
Don't go until no cars are coming.

If a friend bikes across a street before you, don't think it's safe for you to go too. Slow down or stop, and look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.

HOW TO LOOK AROUND
When you ride your bike, sometimes you should look behind you. If you don't, a car might hit you. Here's when to look back.

LOOK BACK just before you ride around a pothole or sewer grate

LOOK BACK just before you pass a parked car that's in your way

LOOK BACK before you turn, or you move to a different side of the street

HOW TO TURN ON STREETS

AN EASY WAY TO TURN LEFT
-Look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT for cars. Stop if any are coming.
-Walk in the crosswalk, or ride your bike next to the crosswalk. Cross the street.
-Stop just before you reach the curb. Stand in front of the crosswalk, facing the way you want to go.

MOVING OR TURNING LEFT LIKE A CAR
-Look back over your shoulder for cars coming from behind you.
-When no cars are coming, move to the middle of the lane. Look back again for cars.
-If you're turning, point your arm in the direction you're going.
-If you're turning onto another street, look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT down that street. If cars are coming, let them pass. Then turn.

IS IT READY TO RIDE?

Frame Height: Check that your child's bike isn't too tall or too short. Have your kid stand with the bike between their legs with feet flat on the ground, just in front of the seat. For a horizontal top tube, there should be one to three inches between the tube and the child's crotch. If the tube's not horizontal, tie string to where the top tube meets the front of the bike. Hold it horizontally to make the measurement.

Seat Height: Ask your child if the seat feels too high or too low. If they're not sure, have them sit on the bike with feet on the pedals. With one pedal in the six o'clock position, their knee should be only slightly bent. But if they're used to a lower seat height, don't raise it too much at once.

Coaster Brakes: If your child can pedal backward to apply the rear brake, the bike has coaster brakes. Here's how to check them. While pushing the bike forward with one hand, use your other hand to pedal backward. This should stop the bike.

Hand Brakes: Here's how to check each hand brake. While pushing the bike forward with one hand, use your other hand to squeeze the brake lever. You should be able to stop the bike without squeezing the lever all the way to the handlebar.

Handlebars: Hold the front wheel between your legs. Using moderate pressure, try to turn the handlebars without moving the wheel. If you can turn the handlebars, tighten the stem bolt, using either an allen wrench or crescent wrench.

HELMETS

Kids need helmets as much as adults do. No matter how careful they are, they can't control everything around them. Make sure kids wear their helmets snugly-and set an example by wearing yours!

Rating: The inside of the helmet should have one of these: a green or blue Snell sticker, meaning the helmet passed the Snell Foundation's tests for safety; an F1447 certification label by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM); or a compliance label from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

Wear: Teach you child to wear their helmet level, not tilted back. A tilted helmet won't protect your kid's skull in a frontal impact. While wearing their helmet, your child should be able to look up and see its front edge.

Fit: Your child must have a snug fit-so that if your kid's head hits more than once, the helmet stays in place. Tighten the straps son only two of the child's fingers fit snugly between the strap and their chin. 

Kids on Bikes in Illinois was designed for middle-school-age kids, especially those ages 9 to 11, by the Illinois Department of Transportation

To order this booklet (w/illustrations) or Safe Bicycling in Illinois for adults and teens, write to:
Illinois Dept. of Transportation
Division of Traffic Safety
3215 Executive Park Dr. P.O. Box 19245
Springfield, Illinois 62794 217/524-5338

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