Bicycle thefts tend to increase during warmer weather. Following these steps, police say, can help deter bicycle thieves:
- Register your bike with the Police Department at www.oak-park.us/bikeregistration. Should your bike be stolen and later recovered, the registration provides information about its rightful owner.
- Don’t leave your bike unlocked or unattended. Police recommend a U lock.
- Lock your bike even when it is stored in a closed garage, enclosed porch or basement common area.
- Never let anyone you do not know take your bike for a ride.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel someone is going to take your bicycle, shout for help.
- Stay in the company of friends — there usually is safety in numbers.
- Think twice about resisting — your bike can be replaced.
Police urge parents to share these tips with their children. For more information, call 708.386.3800, email email@example.com or talk to your residential beat officer. Contact information is posted at www.oak-park.us/rbo.
Bicycles and sidewalks…Riding on a sidewalk by anyone of any age is not allowed in the business districts, including downtown. And only those under 15 years of age may ride on a sidewalk anywhere else in the community. Youngsters riding on sidewalks always must yield to pedestrians. For more information on bicycle rules and safety, call 708.386.3800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helmets required…Bicyclists under age 17 are required to wear a helmet in Oak Park. Enforcement focuses on education rather than punishment, but parents of repeat offenders could face a $25 fine or be required to do community service. The local law is based on information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration about injuries and deaths caused by bicyclists who have accidents while riding without a helmet. For more information about the helmet requirement, call 708.358.5480 or email email@example.com.