safety first

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is currently accepting applications for its bicycle helmet initiative.

RALEIGH — To reduce bicycle injuries and deaths, the N.C. Department of Transportation is encouraging people to apply to receive free bicycle helmets as part of an annual initiative the agency conducts.

In its bicycle helmet initiative, NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division uses funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plates to pay for bike helmets that are given to underprivileged children. Since its inception in 2007, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative has given out more than 40,000 helmets.

“Helmets save lives,” stated NCDOT. “While less than half of all children typically wear one while biking, helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by nearly 90 percent.”

As part of the initiative, NCDOT distributes helmets to government and non-government agencies conducting bike safety events. Examples of partners include police and fire departments, parks and recreation departments, health departments, community centers, churches and non-governmental organizations.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. Applicants have the option of requesting 25, 50, 75 or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive them by April 30, 2021. Applicants are encouraged to partner with groups in the community to extend the outreach of bicycle safety awareness.

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