NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Thousands of children in Ohio will receive bicycle helmets, thanks to the “Put A Lid On it!” campaign.
The campaign is a continued partnership between The Ohio Chapter of the American Pediatrics and The Ohio Department of Transportation.
ODOT was able to purchase the helmets through a $12,000 grant donation from Honda of Marysville, and will distribute them statewide free of charge.
Through a competitive application process, local law enforcement agencies, school programs and community organizations were selected to receive helmets based on need.
One of those departments is the New Middletown Police Department in Mahoning County. They have 34 helmets to give away.
The helmets are for kids 5 to 13 years old in size small and medium. Parents must be with the child to get the helmet.
The helmets will be handed out every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the New Middletown Municipal Building until they are gone. If you have any questions, call (330) 542-2864.
Throughout the summer, officers in New Middletown will also be giving out “safety tickets” to kids wearing helmets that they can turn in for a free kids meal at Subway.
From 2018-2019, almost 200 Ohioans were killed while riding bicycles. In the last five years, twelve percent of bicycle-related deaths involved children between the ages of 5 and 14.
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to keep more children safe while riding their bikes and helping to reduce bicycle rated fatalities and injuries.
Within the state of Ohio, bicycles are considered vehicles that carry the same rights to the roadway as a moving car.
Officials also believe drivers need to do more to ensure bicyclist safety and reduce crashes. As a reminder, drivers should always:
– Slow down and drive at a safe speed
– Look for people biking when turning
– Change lanes to pass bicyclists
– Stay off of their phones while driving
For the last 11 years, ODOT has annually donated $4 million into the Safe Routes to School program, helping to improve road crossings and build safer sidewalks.
For more information about Bike Safety Awareness Week, go to Ohioaap.org/putalidonit.