Bicycles lined up tire to tire on June 3 as E.E. Oliver students learned about bike safety from the Fairview RCMP members for their first bike rodeo of the season.
The RCMP have plans to go to Hines Creek school, Menno Simmons, and St. Thomas More to bring awareness to students of the importance of bicycle safety; such as the importance of wearing a helmet and how a four-way stop works.
“It’s always important to wear a helmet,” said RCMP constable Mathew MacDonald.
The Fairview RCMP officers checked the students’ helmets and made any fine adjustments needed. They gave coupons to students without helmets to help with the cost of the essential piece of safety equipment.
Students rode their bikes in between lines drawn on the parking lot ground to practice control and handling of their bicycles, which included a mock four-way stop to help teach proper four-way stop usage.
Proper cycling hand signals taught students the correct methods for turning and stopping.
Contestable Kurt Butler said the Fairview RCMP plan to begin a positive ticketing campaign this summer to encourage safe bicycle practices, and when officers see safe bicycle practices that they will be giving coupons for free ice creams.
Butler said that tickets for not wearing a helmet while operating a bicycle are $109 and one ticket is given to the child and one to the parent, but they hope that rewarding proper bicycle safety will help encourage safe bicycle use in and around the town.
Along with the Fairview RCMP officers’ volunteers from Western Financial came to assist in the student’s safety training, and help fund the ice cream positive ticket cost and helmet coupon.
Constable MacDonald debriefed classes after the bike rodeo and went over what students learned and took any questions that students had.
Student’s asked what to do if their friends are not wearing their helmets.
MacDonald said that students should encourage their classmates to always wear their helmet when riding their bicycles and to remind them of what they learned at the bike rodeo.
Fairview RCMP Constable Noland Windsor said that about 100 students participated in the bike rodeo all in grades 1 to 3, with Grade 6 students volunteering to assist in the training.
MacDonald said that the bike rodeo was an excellent way to build relationships with Fairview students and the police.
“We will do another rodeo next year, and maybe add some more stuff,” said MacDonald.