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Safe Communities Campaign Spreads Message of Safety through Free Bicycle Helmets

July 27, 2016

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – More than 180 free helmets have been handed out to the Coastal Bend Community, free of charge, as part of a safety campaign organized by Dr. Philip Rhoades, Director of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Social Science Research Center. The Safe Communities Campaign promotes driving, cycling and walking safety practice and awareness. A theme this year is bicycle safety and for the first time since its inception the campaign handed out bicycle helmets at select health and safety events.

Funded by a Fiscal Year 2016 Texas Department of Transportation grant, the Safe Communities Campaign purchased more than 500 bicycle helmets for distribution in Nueces County. The helmets came in sizes small, medium, large and a variety of colors.

“This is the first time we had helmets in our 17 years of funding,” said Rhoades. “Due to changes in how grant funds could be used this year, the helmets could be purchased. It is exciting to be able to provide a new dimension to the safety effort.”

Members of the Safe Communities Campaign were present at three health and safety events providing free helmets to attendees. Almost 50 helmets were handed out at the Tuloso-Midway ISD Health Fair on July 12. Rhoades and his team also gave away 54 helmets at the Mandela Day Celebration at Heritage Park on July 16 and a whopping 80 helmets at the Calallen ISD Health Fair on July 19.

To ensure proper fit, all attendees had to have their head measured because wearing the wrong size helmet can cause problems in the event of a fall or crash. A correctly sized and used helmet can reduce the probability of head injury by 70% in a fall or crash.

“Riding bicycles is an enjoyable activity and healthy exercise, but it needs to be done safely,” said Rhoades. “Wearing a helmet and making sure your bicycle is in good working order are two of the most important safety steps one can take. Be a “Roll Model” and helmet your head!”