COLUMBUS – May is Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Month. Nearly 10,000 bicycle helmets will be going to children across Ohio this spring thanks to the Put A Lid On It! campaign, a continued partnership between the Ohio Department of Transportation and the American Academy of Pediatrics – Ohio Chapter.
Partners from nearly 160 law enforcement agencies and community organizations, Safe Routes to School programs, and Safe Communities programs traveled to Columbus recently to pick up their allotment of helmets.
Since 2018, nearly 2,000 kids under the age of 18 have been struck by a motor vehicle while biking in Ohio. More than 200 of these crashes resulted in either a life-altering injury or fatality.
Researchers found that nearly three-quarters of all bike-related fatalities would be prevented by a helmet.
“Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 88 percent,” said Ohio AAP CEO Melissa Wervey Arnold. “It’s important that kids not only wear a helmet, but that the helmet is the right size and fitted properly.”
It’s the 13th year for the distribution and eighth year for the partnership between Ohio AAP and ODOT.
“We want to equip our most vulnerable road users who are learning how to ride with everything they might need to be able to continue riding in the future,” said ODOT Active Transportation Manager Caitlin Harley.
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.
Additionally, through ODOT’s Safe Routes to School program, ODOT is supporting local governments and school districts with infrastructure enhancements that make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school.
“We know that providing and maintaining sidewalks and paths for kids to travel separated from traffic is critical for reducing conflicts and ultimately eliminating injury and fatalities,” Harley said.
To learn more about Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Month, visit the Put A Lid On It page at the Ohio AAP’s website at www.ohioaap.org/putalidonit. To learn more about ODOT’s active transportation programs visit walk.ohio.gov.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Transportation.