Iowa Safe Routes Conference Aims to Bring Bike Fatalities to Zero

DES MOINES, Iowa – According to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, in 2017 five children under the age of 18 were killed while on a bike.

Iowa Safe Routes to School is hosting a conference with the theme “Vision Zero for Youth.”

Iowa Safe Routes to School Director for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition Troy Carter said Vision Zero is a national movement to eliminate all fatalities and serious injuries when riding a bike.

“We have an outreach where we try to reach about 10,000 children a year as far as bicycle and pedestrian safety. We are looking to increase that by bringing on volunteers and having them kind of get the message out there as well,” Carter said.

Carter said Iowa Safe Routes recommends children sixth grade or under to ride on the side-walk.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau will be at the conference discussing Vision Zero goals for Iowa.

Other speakers include: Senior Transportation Planner Mike Armstrong, Jami Harbrl with the Healthiest State Initiative, Dr. Cara Hamann with Bicycle Safety Database and Pam Hoogerwerf with the University of Iowa.

Carter said it is important to constantly remind children of safety measures while riding a bike.

“Be diligent with them. Remind them to be safe every morning. Make sure and kind of watch them. Make sure they are crossing the street the way they should. Look left, right and left again. Make sure there is not a car coming,” Carter said.

The conference will run Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is free.

The conference will be located at the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Organization Offices. The address is: 420 Watson Powell Jr Way #200, Des Moines.