Raleigh, NC – 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 Bicycle and Pedestrian Division uses funds from the sale of “Share the Road” specialty license plates to pay for bike helmets that are given to underprivileged children.

Helmets save lives. 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.

This year, the state Division of Health and Human Services is partnering with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division by providing an additional $75,000 in state funds for helmets. The helmets will boost the existing program by reaching low-income adults.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2020. Applicants have the option of requesting 25, 50, 75 or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive them by April 30, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to partner with groups in the community to extend the outreach of bicycle safety awareness.

For more information and to download the application, visit the NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative webpage.