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BOISE -- A young boy is still in the hospital two days after being hit by a large commercial truck while riding his bike. People who saw the accident told Boise Police the boy was trying to follow a little girl who had just crossed Fairview Avenue on her bike, when the boy was hit by the truck. Police say neither kid was wearing a helmet.

Jimmy Hallyburton, co-founder of the Boise Bicycle Project, said a helmet is only part of keeping kids safe on their bicycles.

A helmet's going to help you in the unfortunate event if you do get hit, or if you do fall down, said Hallyburton. Really what we want to do, is we want to teach people how to keep from getting hit in the first place, and that's really the most important part about bicycle safety, is knowing the rules of the road, and knowing how to act on your bicycle to keep from getting hit.

The Boise Bike Project donates hundreds of bicycles to kids every year, and every bike comes with a helmet and a safety lesson.

We're really adamant about making sure that it's not just a toy that they're getting, but they're getting the education that goes along with it, so they can actually use it for a tool, Hallyburton said.

Hallyburton said the most important things are being seen by drivers, and acting predictably so they know what you might do next, this includes using hand signals, knowing the laws, and taking safety precautions.

A lot of it just kind of knowing that your bicycle is more than just a toy, and that as you do go out on the streets, that you're going to be running into situations where there is going to be traffic and how to deal with those. he said.

Hallyburton said it's up to parents to decide when their kids are ready to ride alone.

We allow kids to do that driving when they're 16-years-old, and we allow people to do that on a bicycle at a much younger age, and so you kind of have to really make sure that if your kid is riding on road, and interacting with traffic on a bike that they really do know what they're doing, he said.

Each month the Boise Bicycle Project hosts a free safety class for kids ages 5 to 11.

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