CT bicycle store owner offers tips on safe riding - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT bicycle store owner offers tips on safe riding

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CT bicycle shop owner offers tips on riding safely. (WFSB) CT bicycle shop owner offers tips on riding safely. (WFSB)

After emergency crews responded to two serious bike crashes over the weekend, authorities are focusing on gathering suggestions to help keep children safe while bicycling this spring.

A 12-year-old boy riding his bicycle was struck by a truck Saturday afternoon in Montville. Joseph Kolashuk had to be airlifted to Children’s Medical Center after being hit on Raymond Hill Road, which is also known as Route 163.

On Sunday afternoon, 12-year-old boy was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a car near the intersection of Burbank and Peter Green roads. The boy was also airlifted to Connecticut Children's Medical Center with serious injuries.

In both cases, the boys weren't wearing helmets.

“80% of the emergency room visits, due to bicycles, would be avoided if they wore a helmet,” Gary Nicol, who owns Pedal Power in Middletown, said.

In Connecticut, it's also a law that anyone under 16 years old must have a helmet on while riding a bicycle. But, Nicol said it's rarely enforced.

“It's more of parents policing their kids,” Nicol said.

As winter's grip finally loosens with this week's warmer weather, more bikes will be hitting the road. Nicol said bike safety doesn't just come with finding the right helmet. It's also important to listen to traffic and be aware. But many are riding with headphones and that makes it hard to hear cars approaching.

“The Prius and such, you really don't hear them until they're right there,” Nicol said.

Eyewitness News found cyclists who personally know the consequences of riding, and hope the most recent tragedies will scare people straight.

New Britain bicyclist Brandon Raines said he has “past experience from family friends. Some unfortunate things happened, so I learned my lesson through tragedies."

According to the latest updates, the two boys are still in serious condition.

The employees at Pedal Power told drivers and bikers always assume that you don't see each other. They said both should drive accordingly including slowing down and giving both space.

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