LPS promotes bike safety, bike shop sees increase in safety gear sales

By: Lauren Fabrizi

Natalie Bratcher drives her children to and from school everyday. As a driver, she sees many kids who bike.

“I know sometimes when I’m getting ready to make a right turn and I’ve looked to the left, and before I know it there is a bike rider coming from the right!” she said. “So it’s really scary to think about hitting a child, having your child hit, about having any child hit.”

In light of recent car versus bike crashes throughout the city, Lincoln Public Schools is reminding students to wear their helmets, stop at every intersection and look in all directions before entering a crosswalk.

Scott Middle School has about 1,000 students. The principal said of those, a couple hundred bike everyday.

“We want to help them just be like anyone, a defensive driver,” principal Dave Knudsen said. “We want to make them be as responsible and keep them safe.”

Bike shops are also raising safety awareness. The owner of the Bike Rack said since the uptick in crashes began, the store has seen a 50 percent increase in bikers buying safety gear like high visibility clothing, reflective tape and lights.

“I’ve had people say I’m not going to bike right now,” owner Jim Carveth said. “And that’s kind of sad.”

Carveth said not enough bikers wear protective gear. He said not everyone knows bikers in Lincoln are required to have both head and tail lights.

“We want people to be seen,” Carveth said. “When you’re out on a bike, it’s a much smaller object than a car. You need high visibility clothing and also flashing lights.”

The Bike Rack will hold a Customer Appreciation Day Tuesday to further promote bike safety. All safety gear will be on sale.