This week, kids in B.C. are headed back to school. There will be many more people on the roads commuting to both school and work.
While the weather is still mild, many will be enjoying alternative and active ways of getting around using bikes and scooters. A lot of people will also choose low-carbon modes of transportation such as E-bikes and E-scooters as they’re convenient alternatives to driving a car.
“We can all be safer together and enjoy the health benefits of active travel as everyone gets back into their commuting routines for the start of the new school year,” says Dr. Fatemeh Sabet, an Interior Health medical health officer. “Preparation is key for a safe commute, and we encourage safety planning before you head out on your route to help reduce injuries and health-care impacts to the community.”
Here are some tips to ride safely and reduce the risk of injury to yourself or others:
- Wear a helmet
- If you are a less-experienced rider, start slow and in areas of low traffic
- Know the rules - familiarize yourself with where you can and cannot ride
- Ride at a safe speed and in designated areas such as protected lanes and quiet streets
- Don’t carry passengers (e.g., doubling)
- Be visible (wear reflectors and bright clothing)
- Avoid using headphones so can you stay alert
- Always dismount and walk through a crosswalk
- Ensure your bike or scooter is equipped with added safety features, including a bell, lights and reflectors
- Remember, you must be 16 or older to ride an e-scooter in B.C. (Kelowna-based operators currently require you to be 18 or older)
These tips also apply to other types of active travel, such as skateboarding and roller skating or roller- blading. Whichever way you choose to travel, stay safe, stay active and have fun.