Hiram police steer children to bicycle safety at "rodeo"

By ALICIA BALOG | staff writer Published:

Hiram Police Department hosted its annual "Bicycle Safety Rodeo" after its Fourth of July parade, teaching 36 children bicycle safety tips.

"We want to assure that we do all that we can to in order to bring about a safe environment when children are riding their bicycles," Police Chief Ed Samec said. "All too often kids are injured, sometimes severely, when they are riding their bicycle and they crash. The use of a bicycle helmet is imperative when children are riding a bike."

Participants learned how to properly wear a helmet and use hand signals, which they demonstrated in a course that involved agility and concentration stations manned by volunteers from the police station.

"We teach them hand signals," Samec said. "We teach them how to brake properly and how to steer properly, and then they go to different stages, like a serpentine-one stage. Another stage is like a figure eight. Another stage is we have a big box that's lined out on the surface of the parking lot and they have to ride within the lines of the box."

All participants received tickets for a drawing. Prizes included frisbees and small badminton sets, and two children each received a 26-inch mountain bikes donated by the Middlefield Wal-Mart.

Samec said kids were "smiling ear to ear."

"We're teaching the kids safety," he said. "They're learning safety, and they're having an absolute blast while they're doing it."

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