Local judge leads KIWANIS bike safety effort

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For someone who prefers running, Scott Fairgrieve’s enthusiasm for bike safety is deep-rooted.

The longtime Nassau County district court judge is helping to organize the annual Bike Safety Day to be held on Oct. 18 at Mineola Bicycle.

Fairgrieve and Ann Forte, who are both members of the County Seat Kiwanis, have organized the event for each of the previous six years. 

Promoting bike safety for children is just part of the mission of Kiwanis, Fairgrieve said.

“We’re not here to raise money,” Fairgrieve said. “We fill a need within the community.”

The Kiwanis Club describes itself as a ‘global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.’

“We enjoy teaching and bettering the community,” Forte said. “If we can get the community to understand the need for kids to be safe on the roads we’ll prevent useless deaths and brain injuries.”

Since the event is scheduled for Oct. 18, it will have a Halloween theme. 

Forte said she and Mineola Bicycle owner Audrey Meinking are still collaborating on potential contests for the day. Meinking said she will donate bicycles to be given away that day.

There will be a bicycle skills course set up using supplies provided by AAA, eye screenings and helmet inspections and giveaways, Forte said. 

While the event is tailored towards children, Fairgrieve said adults should take advantage of the services being provided as well.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, bicycle deaths amongst riders 20 and over has risen 195 percent since 1975. 

Deaths amongst riders under 20 has fallen 86 percent during the same period.

“It drives me crazy to see adults ride without a helmet,” Fairgrieve said.

While Fairgrieve and Forte both said the program is their way of expressing a desire to look out for adults and children in the community. They agreed that the only way that their efforts will be successful is if it ‘prevents stupidity’ amongst riders.

 Reach reporter Christian Araos by e-mail at caraos@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @Christian_Araos and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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