Signs posted along Delaware Avenue and markings on the road are there to tell motorists that they have to share the full lane with bicyclist riders,
Harold Goedde's letter on bicycle helmet use by children ("Wearing a helmet essential to biking," Aug. 23) skirts providing more helpful advice to children and their parents on avoiding bicycle-related collisions.
Child helmet use is required in New York for children older than 1 and younger than 14. Children younger than 1 are not allowed on bicycles or in a pack fastened to the bicycle operator. For children older than 14, helmet use is optional although there may be local laws that amplify this requirement.
To be proactive, parents would be well-advised to help their children avoid collisions by following these cardinal rules:
Always ride on the right with traffic (obey the laws).
Ride one to a bike (be smart).
Stay off the sidewalks unless absolutely necessary for safety (use judgment).
Follow all traffic lights and signs (be fair to others).
Signal all turns and stops (be predictable).
Ride single file (don't unnecessarily block motor vehicle traffic).
At night, use reflectors, a headlight and taillight (be visible).
None of this is to imply that helmet use should not be encouraged. As Mr. Goedde wisely points out, parental modeling — of helmet use and of adhering to the "rules of the road" — is the most effective instruction a child might ever receive.
Lorenz M. Worden
President, Albany Bicycle Coalition