Record number of children in need to receive free bike helmets

Drivers can support the Bicycle Helmet Initiative by purchasing specialized “Share the Road” license plates
(MGN Online)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:45 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - A record number of children across North Carolina will receive free bike helmets through the N.C. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Bicycle Helmet Initiative.

In 2022, a record 19,900 children across the state will receive a lifesaving bike helmet.

The goal of the initiative, which began in 2007, is to reduce bicyclist injuries and fatalities.

Children are frequently involved in bike-related accidents according to the NCDOT website which states the following statistics:

  • On average, 20 bicyclists are killed each year in North Carolina, according to N.C. Department of Transportation statistics. One in six is under 16 years old.
  • Children 5 to 14 years old visit emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries more than any other sport or recreational activity.
  • Typically, less than 50 percent of children wear safety helmets, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. The Helmet Safety Institute says wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.

The helmets, which are distributed at local safety events, are purchased using funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plates.

Of the 256 North Carolina organizations to receive helmets this year, seven are in the Cape Fear region: Brunswick County Branch #5452 NAACP, Sunset Beach PD, Surf City PD, Tabor City PD, Town of Chadbourn, Town of Navassa PD, White Oak Elementary School.

Organizations should receive the helmets by June.

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