This summer, youths participating in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay attended a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safer Journey course. The two-day program included in-classroom learning and a bicycle rodeo. One goal of the program was to start a conversation about the importance of safe walking and biking. On the first day, the boys and girls were divided into two age groups and introduced to pedestrian and bicycle safety through an hour-long classroom discussion taught by representatives from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research.
“We want to teach as many children as possible how to properly cross the street, how to be a safe bicyclist, and how to use the roadways effectively and safely,” said Corporal Kristy Udagawa, HCSO who attended events at each club location and was a key player in the program’s implementation and success.
On the evening following the in-classroom coursework, the children had the opportunity to educate their parents on what they had learned during the session. The following day, HCSO set up a bicycle rodeo course on the club grounds. The rodeo provided an opportunity to further develop and practice skills that will help them become better bicyclists and avoid typical crashes. Each child was personally fitted for a new bicycle helmet provided by FDOT.
“As part of our ongoing safety outreach efforts, FDOT had the privilege of partnering with the HCSO and CUTR to educate over 600 students at various Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay on bicycle and pedestrian law, while having fun in the process,” said Ginger Regalado, FDOT Bicycle & Pedestrian/CTST Program Manager.