Bicycle safety and free helmets in Scranton

SCRANTON (WOLF) -- It's the first weekend of summer, so no better time to start enjoying some outdoor activities -- like biking.

But before you hit the trail, it's good to brush up on your safety tips.

Brittany Thompson’s glad her nieces and nephews now all have these matching green helmets.

“Its summertime, they all go out on their bikes. And I would like to see them not get injuries. I’m actually an EMT so seeing kids not get hurt when they come out to play is a really good thing," Thompson, of Scranton, said.

Thompson’s family and several others listened as officers from the Scranton and Taylor police departments gave a rundown of bicycle safety today in McDade Park.

Its part of the Lackawanna County Commissioners’ annual bike safety fair and helmet giveaway.

Three hundred children walked away with helmets, each one carefully looked at by an officer.

“They should come to someone who knows how to fit it for them so they know that its properly fitted so when they’re riding their bicycle, if they do fall, they don’t get hurt," Lt. Leonard Namiotka, with the Scranton PD, said.

Before you hop on your bike, its important to put your helmet on the right way. The strap should be snug and make sure it doesn’t wobble.

The helmet should also sit level on the head and low on the forehead.

Officers also gave tips on what you should do one you’re ready to ride.

“We want to check the tires, make sure they’re inflated properly. Too often if the child is riding their bicycle, if its underinflated, the bicycle is going to wobble and there’s a possibility of crashing and having an injury there. We’re going to look at reflectors, make sure if they are going to be riding when its darker out, that they’re going to be able to be seen," Lt. Namiotka said.

Also, make sure to test out the brakes before riding, wear bright, florescent colors especially at night to be visible to drivers, and always ride with the flow of traffic.

And even though today’s lesson was primarily geared towards children, adults walked away with a little more knowledge too.

“We weren’t doing it the right way, we weren’t fastening them the right way. They weren’t tight enough. So we learned that we’ve got to make them a little bit tighter," Amy Edwards, of Taylor, said.

“My fiancé and I we both got mountain biking every summer and the fact that we can learn more about how to be safe on the bike is beneficial to everybody," Thompson said.

A state law makes it mandatory for children under the age of 12 to wear helmets.

Its not required for anyone over that age, but it is recommended for safety purposes.

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