Thousands of Ohio children to receive free bike helmets

Local News
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Close to 9,000 bicycle helmets will go to children across Ohio this spring as part of the “Put A Lid On It!” campaign. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics teamed for the campaign in an effort to keep kids safe while riding bicycles. 

ODOT contributed around 6,500 of the helmets. A $12,000 grant from Honda of America Marysville also helped pay for the helmets, so they’ll be provided to children at no cost. 

Law enforcement agencies, community organizations, Safe Routes to School Programs, Safe Communities Programs, and others applied for the helmets through a competitive application process. Awardees were then selected based on need. 

According to ODOT, bicycle fatalities are on the rise statewide, despite only representing 4 percent of roadway fatalities. From 2009-2018, 182 Ohioans were killed while riding a bicycle. That’s a 22 percent increase, and 12 percent of bicycle-related deaths in the last five years were children between the ages of 5 and 14. 

ODOT officials hope this initiative will ensure access to helmets and reduce injuries and deaths among children who are biking in communities around Ohio. 

The helmets also complement local approaches to improving safety for people biking, including educational programs, enforcement activities, and engineering solutions. 

Officials also believe drivers need to do more to ensure bicyclist safety and reduce crashes. As a reminder, drivers should always:

  • Slow down and drive at a safe speed
  • Look for people biking when turning
  • Change lanes to pass bicyclists
  • Stay off of their phones while driving

In Ohio, bikes are considered vehicles and have the same roadway rights and responsibilities as other motor vehicles. 

To learn more about the “Put A Lid On It!” campaign, visit www.ohioaap.org/putalidonit.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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