learning bad habits

Recently, I picked up a couple copies of a small “Road and Bike Safety” booklet published for kids from McDonald’s (along with a Big Mac, fries, and a sweet tea, but that’s beside the point).

As the title suggests, this publication is intended to teach kids how walk, bicycle, and skateboard safely in public spaces.

The booklet features a two-page spread that invites readers to identify ten incorrect and unsafe practices.

Correct answers are listed in the back. Can you guess which one is depicted here but is not identified on the answer key? (Click on the image to see an enlarged version.)

Wait for it….

Answer: the girl riding on the sidewalk in the upper right hand corner. If the fact that she’s riding on the sidewalk weren’t bad enough, she’s also on the wrong side of the road, increasing her risk of injury when she enters the intersection. A motorist is even less likely to see her because said motorist will not be expecting a vehicle to be approaching from that direction in the lane closest to the driver.

Admittedly, kids learn to operate a bicycle long before they’re ready to ride properly and safely on the street. Nevertheless, my experience riding around town suggests that this is one of the most difficult habits to unlearn.

So, as I’m presently in the process of teaching my oldest daughter to ride, I’m very curious to know what others think about how best to address this issue.

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