A group of six community organ-izations have gotten together and are sponsoring a bike safety school at 1 p.m. on March 24.
“We’ll be teaching them (youth) they need to wear helmets for safety,” said Cpl. Brian Tozer of the Williams Police Department. “We’ll have an obstacle course and demonstrations on safety — we want to teach the kids how to safely ride in traffic and use hand signals to turn.
“We wanted it to be fun for the kids.”
The safety school will be held at Williams Youth Recreation Center and Skate Park and will include rules of the road, basic bicycle safety and courteous bicycle riding. Williams Housing Authority, Williams Home Schoolers Program, Coconino County Sheriff’s Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Williams Schools and WPD are all working on the project together.
Through a Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Bicycle Mini-Grant, WPD received 60 youth helmets that will be given away to the first 60 kids who complete the bike school. Manson said one of the reasons he applied for the grant was because he saw a lack of helmet use in town.
“We think it’s vitally important that children that may not be financially able to afford a helmet be furnished one,” said Frank Manson, WPD chief.
Manson said anyone who needs a helmet can stop by WPD for a registration form prior to the event to ensure a young person receives a helmet.
Wearing a helmet is key to being safe, said Tozer.
“I know from personal experience from being a mountain bike rider that having a helmet helps prevent injuries and may even save your life,” he said. “As a bike officer for WPD I always wear my safety helmet because I feel it’s an important piece of safety equipment.
“I also wear it (when I ride) off-duty as well.”
Tozer, who along with Sgt. Rob Krombeen are the bike patrol at WPD, said each year hundreds of kids are injured or killed riding bikes and scooters without helmets.
During the bike safety school officers will also be tuning up bicycles and making simple adjustments.
“We’re going to be doing basic bike mechanics and repair,” Tozer said. “We thought it would be good to one fix up minor problems with their bikes and to teach the kids some basic stuff.”
The safety school will stress wearing protective headgear each and every time a child rides a bicycle or push scooter.
“Giving out helmets is great,” Tozer said. “It’s also good for the kids to learn to ride safely.”
Tozer invited parents to attend the event with their children.