Graphic comic books teach bicycle safety

According to a spokesman for the City of Phoenix, 80 percent of kids under 18 who are hit by cars while cycling are boys. So these comic books are targeted toward them. They use graphic images like spewing blood and cracked skulls to show that cycling unsafely can have serious consequences.

A teen's legs are crushed by on an oncoming car; a boys skull split open showing his brain. These are just some of the graphic images inside the City of Phoenix's bicycle safety comic series.

"Our intent is to make these graphic, and to make them something that really competes with their world, the Mortal Combat video games they play," said Kerry Wilcoxon.

Wilcoxon is a traffic engineer with the City of Phoenix's streets department. He says the books and posters show kids the real-life consequences of cycling unsafely.

"What we want people to know from this is to wear a helmet, it's the single best thing you can do as a bicyclist is wear a helmet," said Wilcoxon.

Each book teaches a different lesson; from avoiding a driver's blind spot, to stopping for red lights. Local parents FOX 10 spoke to had mixed reactions to the comics.

"That could be good awareness for them, to be aware of the dangers outside," said one resident.

"She already sees enough on TV as it is, now she's gotta open a book about safety and it's graphic, it's just crazy," said another resident.

"We understand that some parents are going to be concerned that some kids are going to be squeamish about it, and that's ok, we're trying to get the message home to as many people as possible," said Wilcoxon.

The City of Phoenix has distributed about 6,000 copies of the seven books; there even have been reading, and discussion groups set up around the series. The city is now working on a series targeted toward younger children with less graphic images.