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As part of the Safe Routes to School initiative, Durwood Mayfield, TBC Local Outreach Manager, and Sherman Phillips, TBC Local Outreach Coordinator, taught bicycle and pedestrian safety to students in kindergarten through 5th grade at four elementary schools in Lubbock this month. Students were taught the importance of wearing a helmet by describing what could happen if different parts of the brain were affected by a severe crash without a helmet.
They also witnessed the “egg drop” demonstration in which an egg was placed inside a manikin’s head and dropped with and without a helmet. The helmet protected the egg and prevented it from breaking approximately 85% of the time. Obviously the students were impressed by this demonstration. In addition, students were told that a bicycle is actually their first vehicle, and they had to operate their bicycle as if it were a vehicle.
The seven laws that apply to bicycle riding were explained to them, and it was impressed upon them that the reason for the laws was their own protection. Subsequently, the various parts of the bicycle were pointed out to them, and the function of each part was described.
Approximately 2,000 students were reached during these four days. All grade levels appeared interested and willing to learn. We think that through these efforts, more young kids will be wearing helmets, and their riding and walking to school will be safer and more predictable.