INDOT is passing out thousands of bike helmets at elementary schools across the state to help ensure the safety of young cyclists.
By working with the Federal Highway Administration, we have established the Bike IN Safe program to provide bike helmets to first- and second-grade students. The funding came from the SAFETEA-LU Federal Transportation Highway Bill’s Transportation Alternative Program.
“Indiana has seen an increase in bicycle fatalities; learning bicycle safety and the use of helmets can help ensure a lifetime of safe bicycle riding,” said INDOT Local Programs Director Kathy Eaton-McKalip. “A big risk from bicycle incidents is permanent brain injury. Wearing a helmet the right way greatly lessens a child’s chance of having a brain injury.”
INDOT received 75,000 helmets in various sizes, accompanied by stickers, coloring sheets, and bike safety information, to be packaged into provided drawstring bags. These were distributed to INDOT districts, where staffers assembled the bags and started visiting schools during the last month of the school year.
In some cases, INDOT employees put on a program about bike safety in addition to distributing helmets. The program included tips geared to young children that provided information on how to properly wear a helmet, rules of the road, how to avoid distractions, what to wear, and safety tips.
INDOT has delivered more than 23,000 bike helmets to more than 120 schools. Approximately 52,000 additional helmets will be distributed to first- and second graders this fall after school resumes.