Sheriff’s Office reminds students of bike safety.
What looks like a stampede of hundreds of thousands is actually a typical morning at MVHS as the bus circle clogs up with students pouring into the school. When the clocks strike 7:30, the wheels of cars and bikes spin visibly faster in a mad dash to get to class on time. Every so often, the path of an unaware car collides with that of an equally unaware biker.
At the beginning of this school year, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department addressed a letter to all the schools in the area to highlight the need for safe, legal biking practices. Unsafe and illegal behavior includes riding on sidewalks, biking in the wrong direction, crossing while traffic is flowing and wearing headphones while biking.
In accordance with the instructions given in the letter, ASB officers read a list of bicycle-related traffic violations over announcements during the first week of school. Violations ranged from not wearing a helmet to crossing a street in heavy traffic and could result in fines or compulsory attendance at Juvenile Diversion classes
Administration has publicized the guidelines through handouts and the school website. They are eager to promote safety precautions that could prevent bike related accidents from reoccurring this year.
Student responses to the unexpected reminders and unusually strong emphasis on biking safely have not all been encouraging.
"I think it’s really sad, because people our age in high school should know how to ride a bike properly to school and how to be safe about it," junior Priyal Bhatt said.
Many students hope to follow traffic rules without the need for police enforcement. However, as biker Sandra Tai noted, many student bikers simply do not feel compelled without the extra push.
"I haven’t really seen any officers enforcing it," sophomore Sandra Tai said. "Some students only listen if there are officers around on their motorcycles waiting for people to do something wrong."
Despite warnings that citations will be handed out for violations, there has not been any report of students receiving citations for bike-related infractions.
While violators may be punished with citations, fines and Juvenile Diversion classes, the goal of the school and the Sheriff’s department is to ensure student safety and smooth traffic flow around school. Citations may not be the solution to the problem, but notices on campus and on the website will serve to make students more conscious of biking safely.