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School’s out: slow down and keep an eye out for kids on bikes, playing

File photo from a previous Kiddie Parade.
File photo.

By Rich Kinsey

What do basketballs, motorized Barbie Jeeps, street hockey pucks, bicycles, baseballs, scooters, dogs, kites, butterflies, footballs, radio control contraptions and gliders have in common?

They can all roll or fly out in the street with a child in hot pursuit.

School is out, ladies and gentlemen, and kids can pop out behind parked cars at virtually any moment in neighborhoods that everyone got used to being deserted during the school day.

Now our youngest citizens can be anywhere, and as we all did when we were young, they are bound to get excited and make mistakes. It is up to the adults to do our best to keep them safe.

The easiest way is to SLOW DOWN and keep your head on a swivel watching for children at play.

Another worry is young bicyclists. Many have not been taught the rules of the road and pay little attention to what is coming up behind them. Be careful some of these youngsters are very unsteady on their new two wheelers and have a tendency to sway all over the road and turn across traffic and into driveways.

Please be careful and slow down behind these children enjoying the all too short Michigan summer.

Mom and dads, please insist on children wearing bicycle helmets. Helmets really do save lives – especially youthful lives.

This will probably mean that you as an adult have to set an example and wear a helmet yourself – well, so be it.

Embrace the helmet/hat head look when you get to the park and take your helmet off. It should be a source of pride that you screwed up your hair in the name of safety for your kids.

Please also remember that by city ordinance, bicycles are to be walked on the sidewalk in downtown Chelsea. That is to say, bicycles cannot be ridden on the sidewalk in the downtown business district.

This law is to prevent patrons coming out of shops, restaurants and doorways from being struck by bicycles cruising down the sidewalk at warp speed.

Parents, please let your children know about the ordinance as well.

Let’s all take it easy this summer, slow down, enjoy the warm weather and keep our youngest citizens safe.

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