Free Bicycle Helmet Program Launching in Del Norte

posted Sep 19, 2013, 10:39 PM by BHC Staff
State law requires that a person under 18 years of age cannot operate a bicycle or ride as a passenger without a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the SNELL Standards for Protective Headgear, yet we all see children and families riding without helmets. In an effort to change this trend, several agencies recently met to start a free helmet give-way and education program dubbed “Helmet Heads”. “We are trying to promote good role models and educate the public. We want kids to wear helmets and we don’t want to penalize them if they can’t afford to buy helmets” explained California Highway Patrol Public Relations Officer Brandy Gonzalez. Coupons for free helmets will be given out by local law enforcement agencies when they witness cyclists riding with or without helmets. 

If cyclists are found riding with helmets they will be given “tickets for using their heads” and riding with a helmet. The “tickets” would be redeemed for such things as movie pass or other recreational events. “The tickets are to acknowledge that they are modeling good behavior and we want to reward them for that”, said Gonzalez.

Everyone, adults and children, should wear a helmet every time they ride. Helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet each ride can encourage the same smart behavior in others.

Helmet Head partners include the California Highway Patrol, Crescent City Police Department, Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department, Yurok Tribal Police, Healthcorps, Del Norte Local Transportation Commission, Del Norte County Public Health, Building Healthy Communities, and the Del Norte Unified School District.

This program funded by the Public Health Institute, through The California Endowment. For additional local information, please contact Karen Phillips at (707) 464-9651.