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Bike Safety

September 07, 1987

I would like to respond to the letter (Aug. 17) regarding the need for school bicycle safety education.

Bicycling in the Los Angeles area has grown tremendously over the last year.

Thousands of adults and children utilize the bicycle for recreation and transportation, and, unfortunately, along with the increase of bike riders there has been an increase of accidents. The city of Los Angeles and the Department of Transportation have recognized the need for bicycle education and for the last three years have funded a bicycle safety program called Bike Moves.

This program educates bicyclists of all ages in such areas as laws governing cyclists, common courtesy, bicycle safety equipment and maintenance. The program consists of an in-school seminar, community outreach program and a Saturday fun ride for children and parents.

Over 500,000 children in the Los Angeles Unified School District are participating in the program and the school Traffic and Safety Education Department of the school district and the Los Angeles Police Department credit the program with a decrease in bicycle-related accidents.

As the program's director, I utilize my background as a world-class cyclist and lecturer to present an innovative educational program that presents safety information in a non-threatening and entertaining fashion. To date, I have received thousands of letters from kids who praise the program and want to know more about safe bicycling habits.

In closing, I would like to state that it is the philosophy of the city of Los Angeles, the Department of Transportation and Bike Moves that bicycle education must begin when a child gets his or her first set of wheels. Habits and attitudes formed now will save lives and eventually determine the manner in which an automobile will be handled later.

PAT HINES

Los Angeles

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