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  • Jefferson Weaver

Free Bike Helmets For Kids Available Through Program

(Courtesy NCDOT)

Free bicycle helmets are available to qualifying organizations across the state through a special Department of Transportation initiative.

As part of the annual Bicycle Helmet Initiative to encourage more children to wear helmets, the N.C. Department of Transportation will give free protective headwear to organizations across the state to distribute to youth cyclists.

Organizations can apply online with NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Feb. 3.

“Wearing a helmet is an easy way to reduce risk of head injuries when riding a bicycle,” said Ryan Brumfield, director of the state’s Integrated Mobility Division. “We hope the Bicycle Helmet Initiative will help reduce bicycle injuries and raise awareness about the importance of safe bicycling practices.”

In just the last five years, the program has provided people over 45,000 free bike helmets, including nearly 20,000 helmets provided to over 260 organizations in 2022. Research showsbicycle helmets prevent 60 percent of head injury deaths and they reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 85 percent. Unfortunately, fewer than half of all children wear a helmet when they ride a bike.

To apply, please find instructions and guidelines at NCDOT’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative webpage. Applicants may request 25, 50, 75, or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive the helmets in the Spring.

The Bicycle Helmet Initiative started in 2007 and works with local communities to spark interest in bicycle safety. As part of that, applicants should consider partnering with a local law enforcement agency, parks and recreation department, church or other organization to host bike safety events. The initiative is paid for using sales of the Share the Road specialty license plate.

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