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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Efforts to improve bike safety in response to recent accidents

Aya Takase-Songui
LAW-A-RIDING: Freshman Max Haymes gets ready to bike home safely by putting his helmet on properly.

Irvine Unified School District and the Irvine Police Department have begun to require attendance at SafeSmart presentations for students using e-vehicles and have issued more tickets after a recent increase in accidents involving students on bikes and scooters. 

“We average at least one or two a week of kids getting hit by bikes,” school resource officer Tanya Ayalde said. “In the majority of the accidents, the bicycle rider is at fault.” 

Some common causes of the accidents include coming off the sidewalk onto the street without stopping, double riding on bicycles, driving on the opposite side of traffic, driving too fast and losing control on e-bicycles or not watching out for pedestrians. 

“What bicyclists and kids don’t understand is you have to follow the same rules you do if you were driving: riding the same direction, stopping at stop signs and so forth,” Ayalde said. 

To prevent more accidents, IPD is working with the Traffic Bureau to regularly conduct high visibility enforcement around Irvine schools, including Northwood. They issue citations to students on vehicles who violate the laws, with the most common violation being not wearing a helmet. 

In September, a student sustained minor injuries after a fall off their e-bike at 13 MPH while wearing a helmet near Irvine High School. 

SAFETY FIRST: Ensure your helmet is effective in protecting your safety by checking the guidelines from UC Davis Health. Find more information here: Image courtesy of UC Regents.

“Investigators believe the helmet prevented him from sustaining significant head injuries,” IPD said via a post on Facebook. “We can not stress enough the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike.”

As per California Vehicle Code 21212(a), students riding an electric or non electric bike, scooter, skateboard or roller skates are required to wear an operational helmet. Students not wearing helmets, wearing their helmets unstrapped or using extra loose helmet straps may receive a ticket.

“When I go to the hospital we hear from the doctors,” Ayalde said. “One is ‘I’m glad this person is wearing a helmet because that is what saved their life,’ and two: ‘if this person was wearing a helmet, it could’ve saved their life.’” 

Following the road rules with patience while operating these vehicles can save lives. Students may consider heading to school earlier and waiting to leave school to avoid traffic, allowing them to safely stop at the stop signs.

Starting this year, middle and high school students are required to attend IPD and IUSD’s SafeSmart presentation to park their e-vehicles at school. These presentations will teach students the rules of the road, helmet use and other information to ensure all students’ safety.

Students interested in registering their e-vehicles through Northwood can attend one of these upcoming SafeSmart presentations: 

For more information about registering an e-vehicle through Northwood, visit

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About the Contributors
Kaylie Wang
Kaylie Wang, Accent Editor
Kaylie Wang is this year's Accent Editor. She is a senior and has succeeded at winning the top prizes from spinning wheels three times. Some of her hobbies include making pottery, laughing at The Good Place or being infuriated by Gilmore Girls. Her favorite articles to write are feature stories.
Aya Takase-Songui
Aya Takase-Songui, Photo Editor
Aya Takase is the Photo Editor for The Howler, who claims to like horror films but as of now has only watched 3. Despite coming from a long line of professional gardeners, she lacks a green thumb and has killed every household plant she touches.

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