Follow some simple rules for bicycle safety this summer

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

By Sen. Wayne Schmidt
37th Senate District

 

While the official start of summer is still a month away, for children across the state school is out in a few weeks, and their summer is right around the corner.

While this is a welcome relief both to kids and to their parents, it also means that instead of being in school buildings, children now will be out in our communities, in playgrounds, and on streets.

And that means there is an increased risk of accidents on the road and an increased need for precaution.

If you are a parent of children who will be hopping on their bikes this summer, your first priority is to make sure your kids are wearing a helmet. Make sure the helmet is in good condition and that it fits properly. For more information, visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) Web site at www.bhsi.org.

In addition to correct helmet size, bicyclists also should make sure they are riding bikes that fit them. If their bikes are too big, they will be difficult to control.

Riders should focus on safe riding and obey all the rules of the road. If sidewalk riding is legal in your area, be sure you yield to pedestrians.

When driving your car this summer, remember that there will be an increased number of children on the road with their bikes, and take the appropriate precautions.

Just as you yield to other drivers, yield to bicyclists as necessary. Make sure you properly gauge their speed.

Obey the speed limit, and reduce your speed to match road conditions. Drive defensively especially around cyclists to avoid a crash.

Give bicyclists plenty of room, and do not pass them too closely. When you do pass bicyclists, do so as you would any other vehicle, when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

For more information on bicycle safety on the road, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists. For additional information on Michigan bicycle laws, visit the League of Michigan Bicyclists website at www.lmb.org.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that the road will be safe both for drivers and bicyclists this summer.

Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, represents the 37th state Senate District, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce and Mackinac counties.

**PHOTO ADVISORY** Schmidt welcomes WWII veteran, Gold Star family to Senate’s Memorial Day service

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, welcomed World War II veteran Leonard Robinson and his family to the state Capitol on Thursday for the Michigan Senate’s 23rd Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored members of the military from Michigan who died within the past year.

Robinson is also the grandfather of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (Navy SEAL) Heath Robinson, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.

Pictured from left: Heath’s father Dan Robinson, Dan’s wife Kathy Archer, Helen Robinson, Leonard Robinson and Schmidt.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of this photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/photowire.

Senate panel approves Schmidt bill to create provisional concealed pistol license for 18- to 20-year-olds

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt that would allow residents aged 18-20 to obtain a new provisional Concealed Pistol License in the state.

The provisional license would carry with it the same requirements needed to obtain it as the existing CPL law for those 21 and older, including necessary background checks and gun-free zone restrictions.

“This is a responsible bill that will require 18- to 20-year-olds to abide by the current training and background requirements for obtaining a Concealed Pistol License,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “It will make sure younger people are ready to conceal carry, as they are currently allowed by law to possess and open carry a fire arm.”

The provisional status of the proposed law would ensure that Michigan’s CPL reciprocity with most other states would be maintained.

Senate Bill 366 is modeled after a similar West Virginia law. That state is one of eight other states Michigan would join with a provisional CPL law.

SB 366 now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

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Senate approves Community Action Agency Month resolution

LANSING, Mich. — May will be recognized as Community Action Agency Month under a resolution sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas and Sen. Wayne Schmidt and recently approved by the Michigan Senate.

“Michigan’s community action agencies promote economic stability and build stronger communities by helping struggling families improve their lives, become self-sufficient and achieve the American dream,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Community Action Agency Month is a time to raise awareness of these great organizations and to express our appreciation for all the tremendous work that they do every day to help those in need.”

Schmidt was recently named the Michigan Community Action Agency’s 2017 Legislator of the Year.

“Our community action agencies provide local services that directly impact the lives of thousands of people each year,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “It is hard to imagine where we would be without their dedication and compassion. I am honored to receive this award.”

Senate Resolution 58 states that Michigan’s 29 community action agencies (CAAs) in 2016 served 168,377 Michigan residents, including 83,538 families, by providing early childhood education, Head Start, senior services, affordable housing, food assistance, energy assistance, financial literacy classes, job training programs and other services.

According to the resolution, Michigan’s CAAs are the only community-based organizations providing full wraparound, locally directed services in all 83 counties in the state, and they have leveraged public and private funding sources to foster more than $333 million in economic activity statewide in 2016.

“In addition to providing critical food and heating assistance, our community action agencies will continue to play an important role in improving our state and bringing new opportunities to all Michigan residents,” Stamas said.

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Editor’s note: The above photo is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire or www.SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/Photowire.

Sen. Schmidt releases statement on the death of LSSU President Thomas Pleger

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, issued the following statement Sunday upon hearing the news of the sudden death of Lake Superior State University President Thomas Pleger late Saturday night:

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Tom Pleger. This is heartbreaking news for his family, Lake Superior State, and the entire Northern Michigan community.

“Tom was dedicated to higher education and the importance of liberal education, and he was overwhelmingly committed to the success of the students of LSSU.

“Outside his professional career, Tom along with his wife Teresa loved the outdoors and enjoyed many hours on the St. Marys River and the Great Lakes.

“Tom Pleger will be missed. My condolences go out to Teresa and the LSSU community.”

Schmidt bill creates provisional concealed pistol license for 18- to 20-year-old Michiganders

LANSING, Mich. — Michiganders aged 18-20 would be allowed to obtain a new provisional Concealed Pistol License in the state under legislation introduced on Thursday by Sen. Wayne Schmidt.

The provisional license would carry with it the same requirements needed to obtain it as the existing CPL law for those 21 and older, including necessary background checks and gun-free zone restrictions.

The provisional status of the proposed law would ensure that Michigan’s CPL reciprocity with most other states would be maintained.

“It makes sense to me that, if an 18-year-old adult from Michigan can serve in the military, the same person should be able to take the necessary steps to be a Concealed Pistol License holder as well,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

Senate Bill 366 is modeled after a similar West Virginia law. That state is one of eight other states Michigan would join with a provisional CPL law.

Schmidt’s bill received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“The provisional permit introduced today by Senator Schmidt is a great advancement in personal protection for the young men and women of Michigan,” said NRA State Liaison Arthur Thomm. “This measure will enable these Michiganders to defend themselves should the situation present itself. The NRA applauds Senator Schmidt on his efforts and encourages the Michigan Legislature to support SB 366.”

SB 366 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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Schmidt honors Douglas House with special tribute

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt presented the James and Jean Douglas House with a special tribute at the state Capitol on Tuesday in honor of the house being named a 2017 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation recipient.

“I congratulate the Douglas House on receiving this distinct honor for its dedication to preserving Michigan history,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

The award is given by the State Historic Preservation Office in recognition of outstanding historic preservation achievements that reflect a commitment to the preservation of Michigan’s unique character and the many archaeological sites and historic structures that document Michigan’s rich past.

The Douglas House, an iconic example of modern architecture designed by internationally renowned architect Richard Meier, was constructed in Harbor Springs in 1973 for Jim and Jean Douglas.

Current owners Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers consulted with the original firm on the home’s restoration.

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