ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety (OHOS) joined forces with the Portnuef Greenway Foundation and the Portnuef Bike to Work Committee to distribute free bicycle helmets to children that might not otherwise have the protection they need.
A number of free helmets were made available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning May 8 at the “Spring onto the Greenway” event. Other free helmets will be distributed at the Portnuef Valley Bike to Work Bike parade on May 21.
The ITD Office of Highway Operations and Safety is distributing the free bicycle helmets to children to increase helmet use and reduce injuries resulting from bicycle crashes.
In 2008, there were 352 reported bicycle crashes, and in 52 of these riders received fatal or serious injuries. Of the bicyclists involved in crashes, 97 percent received some kind of injury.
The economic cost of crashes involving bicyclists in Idaho was $46.6 million in 2008. Sixty percent of the bicycle crashes involved riders younger than 25, and only 9 percent of those riders were wearing helmets. Increasing the use of helmets by young people will reduce injuries, which is one of the primary missions of the ITD and OHOS.