Since 2007, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative has helped equipped thousands of children with a helmet – a simple and essential means of reducing bicyclist injuries and fatalities.
Funded by the proceeds from North Carolina's
"Share the Road" specialty license plate, the program distributes helmets to government and non-government agencies conducting bicycle safety events for underprivileged children.
Children are among the key demographic involved in bicycle-related incidents:
- 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 practice can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.
The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation accepts
applications and distributes helmets each year. The application deadline for the 2019 distribution is 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.
To promote helmet usage and support local bicycle activities, the selection process encourages applicants to partner with community groups to extend bicycle safety awareness outreach.