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Central Florida students design bike icons to get involved with safety efforts

With the rise in bicycle accidents nationwide, kids are now getting directly involved with safety efforts outside their own schools.

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On any road you’ll see dozens of signs — stop signs, street signs, speed signs — but you’ve never seen signs as sweet as these. Bike symbols were styled by kids and now their paintings are proudly paving the way on bike lanes.

Photos: Central Florida students design bike icons

“I was originally going to draw a person on there but I’m too bad at drawing people, so I just drew a cat,” said Heidi Erickson, a fifth-grader at Bentley Elementary School.

A neon pop-tart galaxy cat, that is. It’s a cute drawing designed to involve kids in safety.

The Florida Department of Transportation asked students at four Central Florida schools to create a bike icon.

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The winners were chosen, and their designs came to life on the bike lanes near their campuses.

“It is exciting to see them winning to see them winning, to see them thriving, to see that they left a little mark in our community,” said Dumarie Rodriguez Dillard, principal at Bentley Elementary School.

At Bentley Elementary School in Seminole County, Heidi received the honor.

“I’m very proud because I didn’t even expect it to win,” she said. Neither did second-grader Xavier Zapotecas.

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The surprises continued over at McCoy Elementary in Orange County.

“They took me outside to see it and I was super excited,” said Fatima Rodriguez, a fifth-grader at McCoy Elementary School.

Winners Fatima and Noah Melendez love keeping their classmates safe.

FDOT reviewed the dos and don’ts when walking or biking.

“In my experience, I’ve had students that have been hit by cars before so any kind of acknowledgment and training and learning that we can bring to the table is important,” said Eric Hunger, principal at McCoy Elementary.

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Those lessons will go a long way and these students hope you enjoyed learning about the creativity from their classroom that has made it out into the community.

The other two schools with winners are in Brevard County — at Fair Glenn Elementary School and Viera Elementary School.

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