Riding in Pasadena and Altadena without a helmet or lights after nightfall? Not only may you be breaking the law, but you're putting yourself at greater risk for serious injury.
Thanks to a new partnership between Day One and Huntington Memorial Hospital, at least 200 local cyclists will receive a helmet and/or set of bicycle lights this summer.
"Getting around town by bike is great way to get some exercise, but people on bikes, especially youth, need to be visible when they are riding," shared Christy Zamani, Executive Director of Pasadena-based public health non-profit Day One. "Helmets can also literally be a lifesaver, in addition to being the law for anyone under the age of 18."
The injury prevention project is made possible by the generous support of the Huntington Hospital Trauma Center, which has provided almost $10,000 worth of high-quality bicycle lights and helmets from local retailer Performance Bicycles on Arroyo Parkway.
According to Susan Thompson, Trauma & Disaster Program Manager for Huntington Hospital, "We made a conscious effort to purchase strong, durable lights and comfortable helmets that should last for years."
Lights and/or helmets will be distributed to local residents observed bicycling without this equipment in the greater Pasadena area. Safety checkpoints will be setup along corridors frequented by bicyclists to help ensure that recipients are among the target population - local youth who ride without lights or helmets.
Day One Youth Advocates from John Muir, Pasadena, Marshall Fundamental and Blair High Schools will join agency staff in coordinating the intercept points with the support of volunteers from other local groups involved in bicycle safety, including the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Pasadena Athletic Association and Bike San Gabriel Valley.
- Risk of head injury is decreased by 85% when using a helmet.
- Risk of severe brain injury is decreased by 88 percent.
- Less than a quarter of all children who bike ride wear a helmet.
- More than 70 percent of Children ages 5-14 ride bicycles.
- CA state law requires a person operating a bicycle in darkness to be equipped with a white light that is visible 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, and at least a rear reflector.