May is national Bike Safety Awareness Month, and each year, the Traffic Unit of the Buffalo Grove Police Department conducts a coloring contest for schoolchildren kindergarten to third grade. One winner from each grade is chosen, with winners receiving a $25 American Express Gift card from Buffalo Grove Bank & Trust.
The artwork contains a bicycle safety message. This year's winners were:
• Isabelle Espinoza, kindergarten category, Kilmer Elementary School;
• Nagayuvan Ayyachamy, first grade, Tripp Elementary School;
• Regina Garcia, second grade, Tripp Elementary School;
• Amy Rupsis, third grade, St. Mary's School.
Mike Abruzzini from the Buffalo Grove Bank & Trust presented the winners with gift cards at the village board meeting last week.
Buffalo Grove Police Sgt. Michael Rodriguez told the village board one of his favorite activities as the traffic sergeant is to conduct the police department's bicycle safety education programs.
An avid cyclist, he said he logs about 1,000 to 2,000 miles each year on his bike. The bicycle helmet has been his friend.
"I have been involved in several bike crashes, and a helmet has definitely saved me from some serious injury," he said.
This month, the department is conducted several programs promoting motorcycle and bicycle safety. For motorcycle awareness, the department has posted motorcycle safety videos on the traffic unit's YouTube channel, BGPD Traffic Guys.
Also, there is a Bike Safety pledge contest, in which elementary schoolchildren take the pledge to be safe on their bikes, including committing to wearing a helmet but not wearing headphones.
Rodriguez said that with the help of the Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove, the program has reached 4,200 Buffalo Grove schoolchildren. One child from each school won a new helmet in a drawing. One of these winners will be eligible to win a new bicycle. Village Cycle assisted with the contest.