We Baby Boomers grew up in a time of contradictions: on the one hand we were told by friendly turtles that we’d be safe from a nuclear explosion if we ducked ‘n covered under our school desks; on the other, we were constantly being warned that some activity or another was likely “to put an eye out.”
While rummaging around in the time capsule otherwise known as my Mother’s attic, I came across a 24-page publication, The Police Safety Review, which had been distributed by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. There’s a 1954 Rube Goldberg cartoon – yes, THAT Rube Goldberg – in it, so I’m going to guess it was published in the mid-to-late 1950s.
Police Safety Review Cover
Safety bottom line
Do something illegal or careless and you’re likely to be
- Injured severely
- Scarred for life
- Have your bike taken away
- Have a mark on your permanent record
- All of the above
Hold on to truck, be crushed to death
Ignorance of the law: die on way to hospital
Racing without looking: killed instantly
Racing with head down: seriously injured
Ride on handlebars: scarred for years
Train for Century: break your bike, go to hospital
These boys were training for a 100-mile ride between Chicago and Milwaukee when they got their signals crossed and crashed into each other. The editor was obviously disappointed to note, “The riders were not violating any city ordinance because they were outside of the city limits. The editor fails to find anything pertaining to participation of bicycle riders in races or endurance contests. On the contrary, these boys were not racing but were training on a highway; however, their act is a dangerous practice.”
Ride on park path: arrested, bike impounded
Don’t maintain your bike: die
Think about your boyfriend: never walk or ride a bike again
Here’s where you can find the whole booklet
Here’s a link to the whole booklet as a gallery so you can see the “rest of the story” that lead up to these horrible consequences.
There’s an excellent chart of bicycle parts and some very detailed pen-and-ink cartoons that are fun to look at. Overall, the publication makes some good safety points.