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Don't forget how to ride your bike - Safely

Posted by TuriRhen on July 20, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

You may not forget how to ride a bike, but do you remember how to do it safely? Biking is a great sport, way of transportation and a fun activity. As a driver, I become more vigilant when cyclists are around. Unfortunately, many cyclists, especially children, are forgetting they need to do the same. Here are a few basic reminders that can keep everyone safe.

1. Cyclist and motorist must follow the same rules of the road.

• ride only on the right side of the street or with traffic

• stop at stop signs and look both ways at intersections before proceeding

• obey traffic signs

• use proper turn signals

• watch for pedestrians

2. Wear a helmet - 90 percent of fatal bicycle crashes are the result of head trauma.

3. At night wear reflective clothing or use reflective tape and use a light.

4. Always ride holding both handle bars.

5. Watch for cars backing out of driveways and people opening their car doors.

When both bikers and motorist follow the rules, no one gets hurt.

 


When a black SUV approached my stepdaughter on her way to school.

Posted by TuriRhen on July 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It was a Friday when my daughter Amelie was approached by a black SUV on her daily walk to school. The mysterious man asked her if she would wait while he ran home to get some items for her to take to her school. Terrified and alone, half way from home but still half way to school, Amelie was faced with a decision. What did Amelie do you ask?

 

Using the special training provided by The Town of Menasha Police Department through their Yell and Tell program.  

Amelie ran. Amelie ran directly to school and told the student office worker what had happened. When police arrived, Amelie was able to remember the street she was on as well as what the vehicle looked like. While these facts might seem trivial, they were all part of the training she had received via the Yell and Tell program at her school.

 

The situation turned out to be a misunderstanding by an elderly woman who mistook Amelie for another child in the area. The woman had box tops that she wanted to donate to the school. Police found the woman and spoke with her about approaching children and the fear she had caused Amelie. The police liaison awarded Amelie for her courageous acts and all school assembly, which was televised on the local news.

Please click here for the full story of Amelie’s recognition and story.

 

As a family and a community we are very proud of Amelie and her bravery, but we are also grateful that such programs exist that spread awareness of public safety. This could have very easily been a story of tragedy, but Amelie was prepared with the tools to handle the situation on her own. The Yell and Tell program keeps a pulse on trends that pose a threat to children as well as provide solutions should those risks come to life. Knowing that a threat is present is half the battle; however knowing how to respond and protect ourselves should those threats become a reality is the other half.

 

Keeping the public safe and informed is a community effort and can extend beyond the scope of the police department and into our schools and homes. Ensure your children know what to do when a stranger approaches them. The fear that came over our family when we first got the basics of Amelie’s encounter was enough to cause a heart attack. Finding out how brave Amelie was eased the fear, but it hit home that we must ensure our children are educated on how to handle the various curve balls that life will throw their way. Clearly, not every school system has this training available, but the information is out there to be seen and read. If your school system does not have the Yell and Tell program mentioned above seek out assistance from your local police department and try to get a program going in your area.

 

A few Yell and Tell rules:

 

1) Walk to and from school in groups.

2) Never accept a ride without first getting permission from parents.

3) Never take shortcuts. Always stick to routes selected by parents, and stay on main roads.

4) Leave home with money for telephone calls, or a calling card.

 

Far too many children go missing every year, and, if they are not found in the first 24 hours the likelihood that they will be found alive diminishes every minute. It is critical that we give our children the best gift we possibly can, and that is the gift of knowledge. Knowledge that could save their lives if a stranger approaches them. The death of a child is one of the saddest things to know as a human being, so ensure your children have the knowledge they need to survive. Don’t let your child become a statistic, keep them informed and advocate for programs in your school system that will aid in this teaching. No parent should have to bury his or her child.