Today, while driving with my 5 year old son, I stopped at a crosswalk to let a mom and her two kids cross. The lights were activated and were still blinking when I saw a kid about 9 years of age cycling at a good clip with the obvious intention of beating the blinking lights. He was on the blind side of the building from a truck that had also stopped to let the family through. It was traveling in the other direction from me. The driver couldn’t see him but I could. I could tell he wasn’t going to stop and I washed as the unaware driver started to drive forward…
As the little boy entered the crossing, I laid on the horn and screamed like a woman. Or at least I thought I did. I thought maybe that would make him stop or alert the driver of the impending collision but it didn’t. So I closed my eyes and prayed.
The sound of metal on metal is not always a bad thing. When a person is between those metal, it’s a different story. When that person is a kid, it’s beyond terrible. The sound was horrible and haunting. Fortunately when I opened my eyes, the kid was not lying unconscious on the road as I expected. His shoe was but he was on the other side crying in shock. He had visible bumps and bruises but looked none the worst for someone who just had a brush with death.
Sometimes we forget that teaching our kids to ride a bike is not the most important thing. The important thing is teaching them to be bike smart. To know how to behave when they come to a crossing. To know that they should always wear helmets. Always be aware of traffic. This accident that I witnessed could maybe have been averted if that little boy had observed the rule to dismount at a crosswalk or maybe stop and look both ways, make eye contact with drivers. NEVER TAKE A CROSSING LIGHT FOR GRANTED.
As a dad, I am a helicopter parent when it comes to them playing in the streets. This was a harsh lesson for my 5 year old to learn, unfortunately at the expense of this poor kid.
The little boy was taken to the hospital for observation and my thoughts and prayers are with him at this time. As a parent, this is something one should never see…If you forgot to go over road safety with your little one, now is a good time.