Free Helmets from NCDOT’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Terry LandsellIn 2005, North Carolina began a new era in how it viewed bicycles and pedestrians on its roadways. North Carolina Department of Transportation welcomed Safe Routes to School funding and created a specialty license plate that allowed its residents to show their support for bicycle and roadway safety. Since then, Safe Routes to School has grown and impacted thousands of families across the state and thousands of people have shown their support for ‘Sharing the Road’ by purchasing these specialty plates.

With these programs, did you know that you could be eligible to receive 24 FREE helmets? NCDOT has a Bicycle Helmet Initiative that is funded by the sale of the plates and if you qualify, you can give real value to your efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety as we approach the second annual Bike to School Day.

So, you can be eligible to receive 24 helmets in a 12 month period with a simple application and the adherence to these prerequisites:

  • Must be a local government agency such as a school, fire department, law enforcement, parks and recreation department;
  • May request a maximum of 24 helmets in a 12 month period;
  • Helmets should be distributed to underprivileged children;
  • Helmets must be used in conjunction with bicycle safety education programs like bike rodeos and the Basics of Bicycling;
  • Helmets must not be used for personal use; and
  • Helmets cannot be sold.

Most of our schools, parks and rec departments and other approved organizations have the safety education programs in place and are eligible to submit the Bicycle Helmet Initiative application. Organizations whose events meet the prerequisites can fill out the Bicycle Helmet Request Form for consideration. Requests will be honored based on the availability of helmets. If you have any questions or need help in filing the application please contact me or NCDOT for more information.

As we move forward in 2013, the Safe Routes Partnership is making great advances in Safe Routes to School programs, policies and funding here in NC. There is always an opportunity to make tax deductible contribution or giving a gift of stock throughout the year. Please contact Beth Richards at 603-230-2425 or beth"at"saferoutespartnership"dot"org. You may also find additional information here.

Lastly, if you have not joined the Safe Routes Partnership, please do so here.