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'Look both ways' and be 'very, very careful'

Cary Ashby • Jun 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM

MONROEVILLE — Monroeville Police Officer Jordan Hanuscin equates a child on a bicycle to “riding a minuature car.”

Hanuscin, during a bike safety program Wednesday at the Monroeville Public Library, asked children why they should wear helmets.

“So you don’t injure your brain,” said Peyton Mahl, the 6-year-old daughter of Josh and Bonnie, of Monroeville.

Some of the children’s helmets have butterfly, Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear or unicorn designs. After the program, they were fitted with new ones provided by the police department.

“We started this program many years ago because a little boy got hurt riding home,” Deb Reed, director of marketing and public relations at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, told the children.

“We want to make sure we don’t see kids in the emergency room because they don’t have their helmets on. We want to keep your heads really safe. And as the officer was telling you, the big key to this is that you have a properly fitted helmet.”

The focuses of Hanuscin’s program was making sure bicyclists make eye contact with drivers before they enter the roadway and “look for cars.”

“If they don’t see you, they might go. I want to see the driver and I want them to see me,” the Safety Town instructor said.

If the children ride their bikes on the street when there isn’t a sidewalk, they need to be “very, very careful,” Hanuscin said. “We want you guys to be on the sidewalk and be safe.”

Callie Matthes, 4, of Norwalk, was asked what she learned during the program.

“Look both ways,” said the daughter of Brian and Jessica.

She rides her bike when her parents are around or when she visits her “Mimi or Papa.” The girl was at the library with her “Mimi,” Karen Matthes.

“I had a helmet before. It was Paw Patrol and was too small.”

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