In any normal year, Const. Kyle Cunningham of the Moose Jaw Police Service would be preparing for a series of presentations at local schools as part of Bike Safety Week.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing schools to close and social distancing efforts making any meaningful gathering impossible, that will not happen when the week begins on Sunday, May 10.
Instead, Cunningham and his partners at Sask Prevention and SGI are looking to get it online while offering support to youth and families eager to hit the roads and trails in and around Moose Jaw.
“We will not be able to conduct in-person training sessions until it is safe to do so,” Cunningham explained. “There is no doubt that we are only encouraging everyone to drive safely and to take into account the physical distancing recommendations that exist, and that they may change as the plan progresses through different Phases over time. So we will look at them. carefully and we will ask the public to watch them carefully when it comes to getting back to a certain sense of normalcy. “
Bicycle Safety Week is often a highlight of the youth spring school session, featuring bike rodeos and special school assemblies, all designed to showcase proper riding techniques as well as how to maintain and maintain your safe bicycle.
“That’s always fun for a lot of kids, dusting off their bikes and greasing them, trying on their helmets and seeing if they fit and going out and having fun,” said Cunningham, who would normally be onstage alongside resource officers and his fellow gurus from MJPS cycling. “We miss doing that right now, but we ask parents to pick up some of the slack there, so that the bikes are maintained and ready for the summer.”
Right now, the rules for social distancing that were announced as part of the Saskatchewan Reopening plan remain in place: Families can meet up with one or two other families and go for walks together, just like the limited visits today. generally allowed.
What becomes a problem are the mass gatherings, like a recent afternoon where dozens of kids were riding in the skate park in front of the Kinsmen Sportsplex.
“Having 50 kids showing up at the bike park or skate park, we put him off for now,” said Cunningham, adding that he and MJPS are well aware that they are just kids as kids.
“They want to get out,” he said. “I don’t blame them, we are not meant to be locked up, we are social creatures and we want to be there socializing.” And the kids want to be out there having fun and connecting with their classmates and doing it outside. So let’s weather the storm here. “
That does not mean that the MJPS is not going to do its part during Bicycle Safety Week. Starting Monday morning, they will post educational videos, safety activities, challenges, and even receive some prizes on their Facebook page and Twitter account.
Anyone looking for more information on cycling safety can visit the extensive Sask Prevention Bike and Wheel Safety website for an impressive amount of tips, tricks, and all the information you will need to have a safe summer.