Hiram – The Hiram Police Department is educating children on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Ed Samec announced that the Hiram Police Department is participating in the AAA Helmet Smart Program again this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement. Hiram police officers will issue “safety citations” when they see children wearing a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. The “safety citations” can be redeemed at Hiram Gioninos, also AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their “safety citation” back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles.
Every year more than 500,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to bicycle injuries, with one third of the injuries being to the head and brain. In fact, head injuries are involved in nearly 85 percent of all bicycle fatalities. Children who do not wear their bike helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than children wearing a helmet. “It’s interesting to note that crashes happen close to home on sidewalks, in parks, on bike paths, or driveways and do not involve motor vehicles,” said Chief Samec. “We want to stress to children and parents a bike is a vehicle and not a toy. Using helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 85 percent and can prevent tragic life-long consequences.
Hiram Village Mayor Lou Bertrand said, “There are a lot of children that enjoy riding bicycles in Hiram. I am a strong proponent of the Helmet Smart program and I am pleased that our police department takes a proactive approach to safety.”
Hiram police officers will be issuing the safety citations along with parent/child safety pledges, and example forms that show correct use of a bike helmet and literature.