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Pima County brings back youth bike safety program

Pima County Youth Bike Safety Program
Posted at 6:44 AM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 09:44:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — 4th grade students at Innovation Academy in Oro Valley got a pass out of class, strapped on a helmet and hopped on a bike.

"Our job is to get kids really excited about being outside and to enjoy riding a bicycle," said Pima County Health Department bicycle and pedestrian educator, Ignacio Rivera De Rosales.

For 15 years, Rivera De Rosales has traveled to schools across Pima County to teach kids how to safely ride a bike.

"We spend a whole classroom session inside teaching the safe riding habits, the laws of the road and how a helmet works. Once we do that, we take them outside to make sure they have the skills to be able to do that," said Rivera De Rosales.

Pima County put their youth bike safety program on hold last year because of the pandemic, but are now picking up where they left off. This year, the team of educators will visit 35 elementary and middle schools and connect with hundreds of students. The county's message on safety isn't just for the kids.

"As a community, our job is to care for each other, to look out for each other and remember that speed limits are limits. I think if we all drove the speed limit and we all cared for each other, then the roadway can be a fantastically safe place," said Rivera De Rosales.

By the end of the class, students at Innovation Academy said they learned something new.

"Wear a helmet. Always wear a helmet. Follow the rules of road and use your arms for hand signals," said students, Andrew Bader and Liam Gosz.

More than anything Rivera De Rosales wants kids to gain confidence to participate in an activity that's not only good for them, but good for the environment.

"I want them to remember that bikes are awesome and being outside is fantastic. Everything outside is better than any game that you can play inside." said Rivera De Rosales.