STATE: Free bicycle helmets coming soon  

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to provide thousands of bike helmets to children across the state to reduce serious injuries and save lives.

“Wearing a helmet is an easy way to reduce the risk of head injury 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.”

NCDOT’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative plans throughout the remainder of the year to provide 22,950 bicycle helmets to ensure that children have the resources they need to stay safe while riding their bikes. Since 2015, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative has provided 77,065 helmets to children in need. The state gave a record 19,900 bike helmets to children last year. This year’s giveaway would again break that record.

NCDOT started the Bicycle Helmet Initiative in 2007 to educate cyclists, especially children, about the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bike to reduce the risk of severe brain injuries. From 2009-2018, children up to 17 constituted 40.3% of emergency department visits for all nonfatal bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries, according to the CDC.

NCDOT uses some funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plates and federal funding to purchase the helmets. Helmets are then distributed at local safety events for underprivileged children. Participating organizations include schools, YMCAs, local law enforcement agencies, parks and recreation departments, churches and other organizations that host bike safety events.

For more information about bike safety, visit NCDOT Integrated Mobility Division.