In March of this year, the School Board endorsed “Florida Bicycle Month” to encourage more people to ride safely, as well as to celebrate the health and wellness benefits of bicycle riding. This item expands on that initiative to promote the use of bicycle helmets.
Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective safety device available to reduce the risks of head injuries. Yet, even though required by Florida law, recent statistics show that less than 1% of bicyclists under the age of 16 are wearing helmets.
In an effort to help encourage the use of helmets in high school age students, the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, is developing a grant proposal for submittal to the National Institutes of Health.
If awarded, the grant would provide selected student volunteers with information on road safety rules and benefits of helmet use, along with free helmets. Risk behaviors will be monitored by an intelligent camera system, which will be installed at traffic locations to capture interactions between the student and vehicle drivers.
At the School Board Meeting of June 16, 2010, Vice Chair Perla Tabares Hantman thanked the School Board for its support of this important safety project that will help reduce adolescent bicycle injuries and fatalities.