Breakstone, White & Gluck is proud to support Massachusetts Safe Routes to School each year. For the fourth year, Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 400 bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School distributed the helmets to children who needed one and participated in their bicycle safety training. This is our largest donation each year and one we are proud to make. From Boston to Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Safe Routes teaches elementary and middle school students skills to walk and bike to school safely. The bicycle safety training focuses on the fundamentals of traffic laws, the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and for many, how to balance on their first ride. The program is also well known for its bike rodeos, a fun way for students to practice their new-found skills.

Massachusetts Safe Routes offers programming in over 800 schools in 200+ communities in Massachusetts. The staff tells us our Project KidSafe helmets went to children at these events:

Holyoke Roll n’ Stroll

Boston personal injury attorney Marc L. Breakstone

Read an announcement about Attorney Marc L. Breakstone and our Project KidSafe campaign in the Lexington Minuteman. Attorney Breakstone and our bicycle helmet donations in Arlington and Lexington are mentioned.

 

Quincy police officer fits a helmet

Quincy Police Officer Hartnett fits bicycle helmets at the city’s DARE camp. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign donated helmets for the 106 students. Photo: Quincy Police Department.

For the second year, Breakstone, White & Gluck has teamed up with the Quincy Police Department to help children ride safely on bikes. Our lawyers donated 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department as part of our 2018 Project KidSafe campaign. Officers been distributing helmets across the city.

More than 100 helmets went to fifth graders at the Quincy Police Dare camp. Another 35 helmets went to students from the Germantown Neighborhood Center, who participated in Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s Basketball Camp. This camp was held in partnership with the South Shore YMCA.

Little boy riding bike at Mattapan on Wheels 2018

Photo courtesy: Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition/Mattapan on Wheels Facebook page.

We were pleased to hear cyclists came out strong for the 8th annual Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon last weekend. Breakstone, White & Gluck was a supporter, donating 130 bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign for cyclists who needed one. This year, 165 cyclists came out and explored Mattapan and the Neponset Greenway Trail, which offers some spectacular views of Boston. This was record participation for the event.

The Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon is organized by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youth (MFFC Vigorous Youth). The goal is participation; to encourage residents of all ages to come out, enjoy the bike trail and learn more about cycling for transportation, health and recreation. This is a lot of fun because cyclists get to meet up with other cyclists, families and the Boston Police Department, which provided a bike patrol escort.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck of Breakstone, White & Gluck in BostonAttorney Ronald E. Gluck was recently mentioned in his hometown newspaper for our firm’s Project KidSafe campaign encouraging children to wear bicycle helmets. Read the article.

 

Baby swimming lesson

A media report explores whether swim lessons actually reduce the risk of injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children should not start lessons until age 1. Previously, the AAP’s recommendation was not before age 4.

Swimming lessons have certainly changed over the years. Parents are signing children up earlier, as young as 6 months old, to get them used to the water. A recent WBUR report explored whether this is all for fun or if children in today’s swim lessons are actually learning enough to reduce their risk of drowning.

As a parent, ask your child’s swim instructor about their goals. Experts interviewed by WBUR said the goal should be water survival and broader pool safety skills.

After a Massachusetts restaurant's food poisoning outbreak, friends eat a meal which has been safely prepared.

A food poisoning outbreak has closed a Massachusetts restaurant in the middle of the summer season, raising concerns for diners.

A North Reading restaurant has been closed indefinitely after 39 diners filed complaints related to a salmonella outbreak. The source may be the antipasto salad, but the local board of health is still investigating.

The North Reading Board of Health shutdown Kitty’s Restaurant on Main Street on July 3. The board investigated the food poisoning, which may have initially occurred on June 23. After a thorough cleaning, the restaurant was allowed to re-open – though not for long. The restaurant has been closed again following a new report, this time from a June 25th visit.

man riding bicycle in mountains

Cyclist on vacation in Massachusetts wearing a helmet but not using bike lights

Fireworks are lighting up spectacular skies this week. All the color makes us think about bike lights. If you are a cyclist, are you lighting up the road this summer? Are you using bike lights and wearing bright colors to stay visible to drivers?

Whether you are commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely ride on vacation, bike lights are essential to preventing bicycle accidents. And many cyclists don’t realize this, but bike lights are required by law in Massachusetts.

We encourage you to buy yourself bike lights as soon as possible. If you already have lights, please check to make sure they are working properly. Bicycle accidents have risen in the U.S., reaching a 25-year high in 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The majority of accidents happened between 6 and 9 p.m. The second peak time was 9 p.m. to midnight.

Massachusetts Law
Under Massachusetts law, cyclists are required to use bike lights if they ride after dark. The law is M.G.L c.85 § 11B.

Bicycles must be equipped with a white light facing forward and a red light facing backward. These lights must be in use from thirty minutes after sunset until thirty minutes before sunrise. The white light must be visible from at least five hundred feet away. The red light on the back must be visible for at least six hundred feet. Reflectors on both pedals facing front and back are also required. If a cyclist has no reflectors, they can wear reflective material around their ankles.

Plan
If you have your own bike, buy your own lights now. You can buy them online or at a local store for a few dollars. For everyone else, if there is a chance you may ride, purchase some small bike lights. They pack neatly in your work bag or travel luggage.

There are many different types of lights available. When you purchase lights, take note of the size, battery type and battery life and if they are designed for day or night use. Remember that lights are required for the front and back of your bike. Attaching lights to your helmet or other parts of your bike are helpful for safety, but are considered extra under the law.  Here is an article about bike lights to help you get started.

There is good news for Boston commuters. There are built-in lights on the rental Blue Bikes in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. 

Stay Visible
Don’t stop at bike lights. Purchase a neon reflective safety vest, tape and any other clothing to help drivers see you. Amazon is full of ideas.

Know Your Bike Route
Before you ride at night, plan your route. Choose areas which are well lit and have clearly marked bike lanes. Travel the route during the day before you go at night.

Stay Informed
Monitor social media accounts for local police departments and bike committees which serve the area. Sign up for the newsletters offered by bike committees. Cyclists write these newsletters specifically for other cyclists and their experience is invaluable, especially when riding and making decisions at night.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to celebrate the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership today. Attorney David W. White joined a gathering at the State House which recognized schools for outstanding work in teaching children critical skills, how to walk and bike to school safely. The ceremony was a nice opportunity to learn about Safe Routes’ work over the past year and get a preview of what’s ahead.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign have supported Safe Routes’ work for the past four years. Wearing a bicycle helmet is one of the first lessons Safe Routes teaches children. We donate 400 bicycle helmets each year to help Safe Routes reach as many children as possible. 

We make the donation, but Safe Routes’ coordinators choose which communities receive helmets, based on their unique knowledge of the communities. The program’s coordinators work all over the state, from Boston and Cambridge to Martha’s Vineyard to Western Massachusetts.  In some cases, helmets are given to an entire class. In other cases, a Safe Routes coordinator will send a few helmets as needed.

We want to mention the volunteers from Highrock Church in Arlington, Grace Chapel in Lexington and the East Arlington Livable Streets Alliance, which recently organized a bike safety day in partnership with the Arlington Housing Authority. Volunteers gathered in early June, tuning up 65 bikes to help residents from Menotomy Manor ride safely.

The law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign sent along 25 helmets for children who participated.

child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign Volunteers who held a bike tune up event for Arlington Housing Authority residents in June 2018 (Arlington, Mass.) Arlington volunteers at bike tune up event