BSM students that bike stress the importance of bike safety
Following the tragic accident of St. Louis Park senior Andrew Dudley who was hit by a car while riding his bike, students at Benilde St. Margaret’s have begun to discuss bike safety. Oddly enough, many people at BSM aren’t sure what Minnesota laws actually state about bike safety, especially those that apply to nighttime biking and biking in the street––thus risking the safety of themselves and everyone around them.
Through analyzing bike safety situations, students at BSM who are avid bikers, find it is important to stay safe, and one way to do so is by wearing a helmet. “It’s essential to wear a helmet, because it is a safety device and there are plenty of accidents where people get seriously injured or killed [without it],” said senior Patrick Freese.
Even though helmets might be uncomfortable, they’re still important. “It’s one small thing you can do to protect your life––I have some friends that were messengers and have gotten hit by cars, and one of them ended up in the hospital for three months,” said senior Levi Caffes. “One wrong turn could send a biker to the hospital, but survival chances are always better when they’re wearing a helmet.”
Even if a biker is wearing a helmet, they are still often in danger of being hit and getting hurt. “I’ve been hit by a car two official times, one really close call, I ended up on the trunk, I was a little sore but nothing serious,” said Caffes.
Cars are a threat to bikers because of their power and size, and while some bikers may think they are safe because of the biking laws set in Minnesota, drivers aren’t always paying full attention. “When I was a kid I would get into bike wrecks all the time, and even in college when I used to bike a lot…I enjoy the danger of mountain biking, but I’m really conservative when it comes to avoiding getting hit by a car,” said Mr. Rieff, a science teacher at BSM.
A driver’s consideration of bikers that ride in the road reveals their knowledge of basic driving rules. “In the city they’re more considerate than they should be…we assume they won’t [stop] but they do,” said Freese. However, in the suburbs they aren’t necessarily used to the consideration that is common in the city scene. “It depends on where I am because in the city they totally are [attentive], but in the suburbs they aren’t very acknowledging,” said Caffes.
Reflective gear and lights are important to have handy when it’s getting dark, as it helps to show drivers where bikers are. “At night I do not have reflective gear, but I’m really not biking at night, usually in the morning or after school or in the afternoon on the weekends,” said junior Kate Whitney.
Some avoid biking at night because of safety issues, whereas others prepare themselves for night riding. “I do I have a headlight and taillights, if I bike in the city they will be flashing, if I’m on a path then I’ll just have them on,” said Caffes.