Notes on traffic safety from the 3rd grade

BY LEILANI WIZNER | As a nine-year-old biker (who bikes to school with her younger sister and mother), there are a lot of challenges to face. People walk in the bike paths with headphones on, so they don’t hear us blowing our horns or shouting “excuse me.” This can cause accidents if you have to stop short and the biker behind you bumps into you. Then you can bump into the people walking in front of you.

What makes it even harder is that one side of the bike path is closed for part of our ride to school. That means people walking and biking opposite ways have to share one path. Some bikers going the same way as us are faster and in a hurry. They speed by dangerously close, forgetting to say “on your right” or “on your left.” For some of the ride to school, we go in the streets. This is also dangerous because some of the cars go in the bike lanes. Others open car doors on bikers: my friend’s mom also bikes and someone opened a car door on her leg. It was all scraped and bruised. Bikers also do wrong things in the street. Some think it’s okay to go through a red light, and others bike on the sidewalk. It’s okay for kids, sometimes, but you still have to be careful — there’s other people who use the sidewalk. The people who walk shouldn’t walk when there is a bike or a car coming — this can cause an accident even if you run across the street. I notice that usually kids run across the street. Some parents don’t even care — a few weeks ago I was riding my bike and there was a little girl running across the street. Her mom was calmly walking behind with her other child when it said “don’t walk”.

The author and her sister on their way home from school.
The author and her sister on their way home from school.

Biking to school is also very relaxing. People do many things near the bike path, including practicing a dance with swords. Those people need to be careful: one guy leaped forward once and almost hit my sister! Also two people sometimes walk facing each other (that means one person is walking backwards). Once I saw the person walking backwards trip and almost get hit by a passing bike.

Everyone needs to be safer when they bike, walk and even drive. Don’t just think about you also think about the people around you. If someone’s hurt you should stop and give them a hand. A meeting or something like that isn’t more important than a person. Everyone would be happier and nicer if you give them a hand. You can stop, unless someone is dying or sick and you need to get to them. People are more important than a meeting or being five minutes late for work. You can make a person’s day. You can make the whole world a better place.

Leilani Wizner has just completed the third grade at The Blue School.

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