Maryanne Kauffman, International Student Outreach Program director, shown below with her husband, Bruce, kept busy at this past week’s bike safety checkpoint at St. Edmond Catholic Church in downtown Rehoboth Beach. They were joined with the Sussex Cyclists and DelDOT personnel installing lights on bicycles, distributing helmets and biking literature, while making minor bike repairs.
This year, for the first time, DelDOT is holding three checkpoints, including the upcoming one on Tuesday, at the free student dinners. All checkpoints have free lights and helmets.
They have 11 checkpoints scheduled throughout the summer and three that have already taken place. The next one will be on Tuesday, June 27, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Epworth Church.
Through the DelDOT bike program about 210 students will receive free bikes, lights and helmets after taking a required bike safety program. Most of those students received their bikes directly from DelDOT, about 40 others got them through their employers who partner with DelDOT. The State of Delaware isn’t buying all these bikes for students, she points out. The vast majority of them are donated by local residents. Some are road ready after a quick check, others need lots of repair.
Safety, she said, is always her biggest concern for the students. This includes not only trying to keep them safe when they’re biking, Kauffman points out, but also making sure students have a safe place to live. “The DelDOT safety program reaches about 350 students through the bike safety classes and the orientations arranged by the International Student Outreach Program (ISOP),” she added. “However, last year there were 885 students in Rehoboth, Lewes and Dewey, so most of them are not getting the safety message tailored to our area. At last count, we are aware of seven students hit by cars already, and I’m sure there are accidents that were not reported,” she said.
For the dates, times and locations of future bike safety checkpoints please see WGMD.com. You do not have to be a student to participate!