Bicycle Helmet Initiative
By Joe Sanders
On average, 20 bicyclists are killed each year in North Carolina, according to N.C. Department of Transportation statistics. One third of those fatalities are a child under the age 16. Children 5 to 14 years old visit emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries more than any other sport or recreational activity. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.
Despite the fact that good quality helmets that meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards are available in retail outlets for between less than $15, typically, less than 50 percent of children wear safety helmets.
To promote helmet usage and support local bicycle activities, the NCDOT Integrated Mobility Division [includes the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division], with proceeds from North Carolina's “Share the Road” specialty license plates, accepts applications from organizations willing to distribute helmets to low-income children.
This year Blue Ridge Bicycle Club members Kimberly King, Sunny Ruble, Shelly Mozlin, AJ Ball, Susan Mckenzie, George Jamesson, Peggy and Roger Hancock, and Peggy and Joe Sanders worked with the Mills River Parks and Recreation Department to fit and distribute almost 250 helmets. To view a WLOS clip of the event click https://wlos.com/news/local/blue-ridge-bicycle-club-bike-helmets-kids-fitting-mills-river-park-party-annual-festival-bounce-houses-free-haircuts.