Rochester MN, Rochester, MN
Bicycle and Pedestrian Education is now a requirement for schools in Minnesota!
Providing K-8 Pedestrian and Bicycle Education
This last legislative session, Minnesota passed HF 2887. As part of this bill, schools in Minnesota are now required to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety to their students kindergarten through 8th grade.
What does this mean for teachers and schools? Here are the basics:
- Pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons must be implemented within the first three weeks of the start of school.
- Grades K-3 are required to learn pedestrian safety skills including:
- Crossing roads safely
- BikeMN has designed a 30 minute lesson, “Safely Crossing”, as part of our Walk!Bike!Fun! curriculum, which includes discussion topics, and hands-on practice for crossing the road safely. Download the pdf here.
- Crossing roads safely
- Grades 4-8 are required to learn pedestrian safety skills including:
- Crossing roads safely
- Using the left-right-left search technique to watch for vehicle traffic
- BikeMN’s 30 minute lesson on the “Stop and Search” technique covers the “5 steps” for safely crossing the street. The pdf found here had K-2 students in mind, but is foundational bicycle education that will apply to older ages as well.
- Grades 4-8 are also required to learn bicycling safety skills including:
- Relevant safety laws
- Proper helmet fit
- Bicycle parts and safety features
- Safe biking techniques
- Our BikeMN handbook includes illustrations on the ABC Quick Check, helmet fit, diagram of bicycle parts, and basic bicycling law. Our Walk!Bike!Fun! Lesson, “Getting Ready” is also a great foundational, 30 minute lessons, on helmet fit, bike fit, steering, and braking. The pdf available here was designed for K-2 but is foundational bicycle education and will apply to older ages as well.
Why teach bicycling and pedestrian safety in schools?
Schools are already required to deliver bus safety to students, and adding bicycle and pedestrian safety will ensure that all students know how to safely get to school and navigate their neighborhoods. Learning to bike, walk, and roll safely is important to all students. Students gaining the skills and confidence to navigate their neighborhoods safely means:
- More students biking, walking, and rolling to and from school
- Increased safety of youth pedestrians and bicyclists
- Improved lives of youth by improving health, learning capacity, and independence
BikeMN is here to support teachers and schools through resources designed to support this new mandate! In addition to the resources below, BikeMN is available for phone coaching, email support, in-person assistance, and additional training through our Walk!Bike!Fun! Safety curriculum training. All training services and technical assistance are free for educators. If you have questions or need support, email our Education Director: email@example.com
Virtual Office Hours
BikeMN will be hosting virtual “office hours” for educators with questions related to the educational content and requirements. Drop in/out when is convenient for you, no appointment necessary. Education staff will be available during the following times:
Tuesday, August 22nd from 2:30-3:30PM (Zoom Link Here)
BikeMN will be hosting an informational Webinar for educators, administrators, and interested advocates to learn more about the bike/pedestrian education requirements. This will be an overview in delivering basic pedestrian and bike safety, and BikeMN staff will be available to answer questions. The webinar will be recorded for easy access to those who can’t attend live. The webinar will be from 12-1pm on Thursday, August 24th 2023. Use the zoom link here to join.
Other resources for teachers and schools
(this list will be updated periodically as resources become available):
- Our BikeMN Handbook is a great resource for teachers to learn more about basic bike safety, rules of the road and laws, as well as the ABC Quick Check (bicycle safety check), helmet fit, and bicycle components. This handbook may also be a good resource to send home to parents. The BikeMN handbook can be downloaded or requested in print here.
- BikeMN has created posters on both pedestrian and bicycling safety. You can request them, as well as other resources like bookmarks and stickers for incentivizing safe behavior, here.
- Our Ambassador guide contains some helpful information on how to teach pedestrian and bicycling safety. Section one, “Ambassador Training 101” outlines the core skills needed to instruct on bicycling and pedestrian safety skills. Section Two “Presentation Essentials” includes a suggested lesson plan for delivering this content to students in a classroom or assembly format. Download the Ambassador Guide free here.
- Other trainings: BikeMN is available to facilitate a Walk!Bike!Fun! Or ambassador training for any interested schools. These trainings provide a deeper dive into our bicycling/pedestrian curriculum and bicycle safety events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about hosting a training at your school!
- Online trainings: BikeMN has several video resources available to help. Part One of our Walk!Bike!Fun! Training is a series of online video modules that can be done at your own pace. Register for free here.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has resources on pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Office of Traffic Safety has resources on bus safety education if schools are looking to combine their education trainings.
- The Safe Routes for School page on MnDOT’s website lays out the information on the education requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does this training need to be provided annually?
- Yes, as with bus safety education, biking and pedestrian safety needs to be provided within the first three weeks of the start of school each year.
- If we have already provided biking and pedestrian safety education in the past, or have a plan to this year, will that suffice?
- Like bus safety, the education needs to be provided starting this year, and annually, within the first three weeks of school. If your school has a plan to provide this education later in the school year, you could consider doing an “intro” or “teaser” short course to prepare them for the later lessons.
- Fall is a very busy time, can we do this in the spring?
- The statute says that it must be completed within the first three weeks of school start. The resources we have available can be taught within 30 minutes or less.
- What is the difference between these education requirements and Walk!Bike!Fun!?
- Walk and Bike Safety Education is a new requirement in Minnesota schools. It is meant to introduce the skills required for youth to navigate their communities on foot or on bike. There is flexibility in how the education can be presented to students and will likely take no more than 30 minutes of the school day. The requirement can be met by presenting information in a general classroom or even a school assembly format.
Many schools across the state have incorporated Walk! Bike! Fun! into their physical education curricula or after-school programming. Walk! Bike! Fun! is a robust program for teaching pedestrian and bicycle safety skills to youth that meets Minnesota’s education standards. Schools that teach Walk! Bike! Fun! are already meeting the new Active Transportation Safety Education requirement with one important caveat: all students must receive Active Transportation Safety Education at the beginning of the school year. Teaching Walk! Bike! Fun! may be sufficient for your school if it can be taught to the student body at the beginning of the school year, but if not it should be supplemented with a shorter unit that can meet the state requirements.
Upcoming Educational Classes
Rochester MN, Rochester, MN
BikeMN Education Programs
MN Bicycling Laws & Riding Tips
The comprehensive Minnesota Bicycling Handbook is meant to help bicyclists use Minnesota’s roads and trails safely and enjoyably, with information on equipment, riding rules & etiquette, where to ride, and much more.
People Friendly Driver
People Friendly Driver is a pilot program and curriculum for educating all motorists on safe driving behaviors around people who are walking or biking, currently taught by BikeMN staff upon request. Learn more about the PFD program, the vision, and how to become a partner or request a class.
Become an Instructor
Teaching classes is a valuable way in which we provide vital information that helps make walking, biking and rolling as safe and enjoyable as possible. Find out how you can get trained to share educational opportunities in your community.
Courses for Individuals
Whether you are brand new to riding a bike, or if you’ve been pedaling for decades, taking a class is a great way to brush up on your knowledge, practice your skills, and boost your confidence. BikeMN and certified League of American Bicyclists Instructors (LCIs) offer a range of classes – from quick 30min primers, to multi-day seminars – that can help you take your riding to the next level. Learn More about current offerings and how to register.
Trainings for Communities & Businesses
BikeMN is proud to partner with cities, organizations, and businesses across the state to deepen and expand the reach of our educational offerings. We provide workshops, webinars, and seminars to support leaders and advocates wanting to improve walking and biking in places where people live, work, learn or visit. Learn More about these programs and how to participate.
School-based education — Walk Bike Fun
BikeMN worked with MNDOT’s Safe Routes To School program and other partners to develop and implement a nation-leading school-based youth education curriculum for safe walking and biking, called “Walk! Bike! Fun!”. This modular curriculum is designed specifically for Minnesota’s schools and youth education programs, and meets MN Physical Education Standards and Benchmarks.
Find more recommended educational resources for walking and biking that you can access and share on your own.