AUBURN, Mass. – Children rolled out their bikes and learned the rules of the road on Saturday as the Auburn/Webster Lodge of Elks held its inaugural Bike Safety and Helmet Day.
At the free event, officers from the Auburn Police Department taught the kids how to use hand signals, in addition to other skills that riders should know. The Elks also gave out 200 helmets to the participants.
“Bike safety is not taught in school any longer, so we felt that we should hold an overall safety day for children,” said Maribeth McNamara, an Elks member. “It’s very important to learn about safety and provide them with helmets. We don’t see kids wearing them as much anymore.”
Auburn Police Officers Jon O’Brien and Bryan Porcaro taught the kids the meaning of yield and stop signs. The officers also showed the children how to move their left arm when making a right or left-hand turn.
In addition, the children’s helmets were inspected by the Auburn Police Department for proper fit and safety. The officers made sure the helmets were not loose at all.
Bicycle Alley checked the kids’ bikes and taught the riders how to perform a proper safety check before going out for a ride.
The Elks event wasn’t only for bike safety, however. The Auburn Fire Department brought District 7’s Fire Safety House to teach the children how to get out of the house safely and quickly.
“A lot of people don’t know what it’s going to be like when there’s a fire, so it’s good to show them without the terror of an actual emergency,” said Captain Greg Morin.
The fire safety house can simulate fire situations in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. The house releases a fake smoke that’s vegetable oil-based, and the kids learn how to get out of the area in a safe and efficient manner.
The safety day also included a drug awareness trailer that distributed anti-drug pamphlets to the kids.
The Elks provided a free lunch to the participants, giving them a burger or hot dog, chips, and a drink.