On Friday, March 29, U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner introduced a new bill that seeks to support and enhance bicycle safety education programs across the country. Known as the Biking, Instruction, Knowledge, and Education (BIKE) Act, the bill would ensure federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grants can be used to support programs focused on bicycle safety.

This bill comes at a time when recent data indicates that bicyclist deaths from traffic incidents have been increasing since 2010. However, with increased bike education programs, there is not only the added benefit of students’ improved bicycle safety knowledge, but also a shift in their parents’ attitudes toward cyclists, which can help make roads safer for bicyclists and motorists alike.

Representative Seth Magaziner highlights these benefits in bicycle safety education: “Safe riding and driving habits start with education at an early age, and by expanding access to bike education programs, we create safer roads for both cyclists and motorists. I’m proud to introduce the BIKE Act, which will help ensure Americans grow up to value road safety – whether on two wheels or behind the wheel.”

The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council has been able to provide bicycle safety education to classrooms across the state thanks to state and federal support. The Red Shed Bike programs have not only taught kids about bicycle safety, but also helped many children to become confident, knowledgeable bicyclists. “We at the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council are thrilled that Representative Magaziner introduced the BIKE Act to provide expanded federal funding to bicycle education programs,” said Donny Green, Bicycle Program Director. “Since 2019, we have partnered with RIDOT to deliver Rhode to Bicycle Safety programs to fifth grade classrooms throughout Rhode Island, and this legislation will allow even more funding to support these essential programs. We teach over a thousand students each year how to ride their bikes safely and confidently. We believe all children deserve access to the joy and independence that cycling offers, and these programs ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to be safe while riding.”

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