The campaign is a continued partnership between the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. ODOT contributed about 6,500 of the helmets. Thanks in part to a $12,000 grant from Honda of America Marysville, these helmets will be provided at no cost to children across Ohio to keep them safe while enjoying a bicycle ride.
Partners from law enforcement agencies and community organizations, Safe Routes to School Programs, Safe Communities Programs, and others, applied for helmets through a competitive application process. Awardees were selected to receive helmets based on need.
While bicycle related fatalities only represent 4 percent of roadway fatalities, they are on the rise statewide. Between 2009-2018, 182 Ohioans were killed while riding a bicycle, a 22-percent increase. Twelve percent of bicycle-related fatalities in the last five years were children between the ages of 5 to 14.
The goal of the partnership is to ensure access to helmets and reduce injury and fatality among children who are biking in communities across the state.
Local distribution of helmets will include Norwalk’s Strawberry Festival in late May, where 72 helmets will be available, and Bellevue Community Days (36) this summer.
These resources complement local approaches to improving safety for people biking, combined with other educational programs, enforcement activities and engineering solutions.
However, more needs to be done to reduce crashes. Motorists should always:
• Slow down and drive at a safe speed
• Look for people biking when turning
• Changes lanes to pass
• Put the phone away
In Ohio, bikes are vehicles and people on bikes have the same roadway rights and responsibilities as other vehicles.
Since 2008, ODOT has invested $4 million annually into the Safe Routes to School program which builds sidewalks and improves street crossings and encourages children to safely walk or bike to school.
To learn more about Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Week, visit the Put A Lid On It page at the Ohio AAP’s website at www.ohioaap.org/putalidonit. To learn more about the Ohio Safe Routes to School program visit: walk.ohio.gov