PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Elementary school students in Providence learned some valuable lessons in bicycle safety as part of a new pilot program from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT).
On Friday, RIDOT wrapped up the second of three “Rhode to Bicycle Safety” courses planned for this fall. Fourth- and fifth-graders at William D’Abate Elementary School were able to practice their newly learned skills on a mock street course set up in the playground, complete with intersections and stop signs.
“In Providence, we believe that every street should be safe, clean and inclusive,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said. “This new program will support this mission and expand bike safety education while offering an interactive learning opportunity for our students.”
The course takes place over four one-hour sessions. According to RIDOT, the key objectives include:
- Understanding the rules of the road for cyclists
- Lane positioning
- Street signage and its meaning
- How to safely start and stop a bicycle
- Signaling turns or stops while riding
- How to scan for hazards
- Understanding the anatomy of a bicycle
- How to check that a bicycle is safe to ride before traveling on a road or path
The first course was held last month at Forest Park Elementary School in North Kingstown and the third will take place later this month at Hampden Meadows Elementary School in Barrington.
RIDOT provides the instructors and equipment—including options for students who have never ridden a bike before—at no cost to the participating schools through state and federal funding.
“Safety is at the core of everything we do here at RIDOT,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “We’re excited about this new program and our role to equip children with the knowledge and skills that will help them bike safely.”
RIDOT said it hopes to expand the program to other schools across the state next year.