A PARENTS' CHECKLIST: TRAFFIC SAFETY
- Inspect bicycles to make sure they are the right size and in good working order – no loose handlebars, wobbly wheels, flat tires or loose chains.
- Don't allow a child (typically under age 10) to cross streets alone. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
- Have everyone buckle up on every ride, in every vehicle, with every driver.
- Children should ride in safety seats with a complete harness system as long as possible. Most seats with a harness fit children up to 40 pounds — there are seats available that reach 50, 65 and 85 pounds, but a tall, thin child may outgrow a "convertible" seat (faces either rearward or forward) before 40 pounds.
- Typically, the harness may be used up to 40 pounds; then it is removed so the seat can be used as a belt-positioning booster. A child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches is required to be fastened in a child safety seat that meets federal safety standards. Under Minnesota law, a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8, or 4 feet 9 inches tall. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height rather than their age.
- Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road if there is no curb, before crossing the street.
- Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross at designated crosswalks or at intersections.
- Walk facing traffic, on sidewalks or paths. Walk as far left as possible if there are no sidewalks.
- Wear bicycle helmets correctly – centered on top of the head and always fitted snugly with straps buckled.
- Ride bicycle with traffic flow and as far to the right as possible if there are no sidewalks.
- Always obey traffic signals and lights as a bicyclist and pedestrian.
- Buckle up on every ride, in every vehicle, with every driver.
- Never play in or around cars.
- Never ride in the bed of a pickup truck.
- Never walk on railroad tracks and stay away from rail yards, railroad cars and rail equipment.
National Safety Council
Safe Kids Worldwide