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Students lead bicycle safety awareness effort in Fishers

Posted: 9:34 PM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-22 00:08:40-04
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FISHERS — Crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians are increasing nationwide, year after year.

The latest numbers show nearly 6,000 pedestrians, and 800 bicyclists were killed in car crashes in 2017.

There is a local effort in Fishers to bring awareness to bicycle safety.

It all started after a lesson, where local elementary school students were learning about the message behind the Brooks School Road ghost bike. And now, it's transformed into a collaboration with those elementary school students and the city of Fishers.

David Baldock's second grade class at Brooks School Elementary started learning about symbols in the fall.

"When we reached outside of the schoolhouse we found symbols in the public. They quickly took notice of the bicycle by the speed limit sign," Baldock said. "Many of them thought the bicycle was for sale."

When the students learned the bike is a memorial tribute for 61-year-old Robert Lackey who was hit by a car and killed while riding his bike last summer, they wanted to do something to bring awareness to bicycle safety.

Second-grader, Luke Mcgrath, wrote a letter to Mayor Scott Fadness. It went a little something like this:

"Mayor Fadness, how are you? I go to Brooks School Elementary. There is a bike in front of my school because a biker got hit by a car."

Luke hoped the city would put up a sign by the bike to remind drivers to be careful when sharing the road. From there, the collaboration began.

The city created a PSA featuring the students, which is now airing at local events.

"There's a lot of wisdom in small kids if you listen to them," Mayor Scott Fadness, R-Fishers, said. "It's not surprising that they recognized an issue and were passionate about trying to solve it."

But the campaign didn't stop there. Each student came up with an idea for a new street sign.

"They were such a good idea is that we printed out each one. Each one got their own individual sign," Baldock said.

"I feel really happy since we are going to tell people to slow down and watch for bicyclist, so there are a lot of crashes so not a lot of people die," Mcgrath said.

"It's just spectacular, the fact that the community has gotten behind these children in second grade and have supported our cause," Baldock said.

In Fishers, there is an ordinance in place that requires drivers to give cyclist three feet when passing them on the road.

Students hope their PSA's — targeted at both drivers and cyclists — will remind people to share the road and avoid distractions.