The Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) donated approximately 75 helmets to the Tift Area Greenway Association (TAGA) Thursday afternoon at the Tift County Recreation Department.
Harris Blackwood, GOHS director, presented the helmets to Sharon Petzel, TAGA president. He said the donation comes from the sale of "Share the Road" tags. He noted "Share the Road" helps fund bike training and safety throughout the state.
"We want to reach children early," Blackwood said. "We want them to learn lifelong safety standards now, so they can carry them into adulthood and help prevent future fatalities on Georgia roads."
TAGA and the recreation department are sponsoring a bike rodeo Saturday during the 2014 Pump It Up With Health, Fitness and Disability Information Resource Expo, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the TCRD.
The age divisions are 6 and under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13 and over. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the event will start at 9:15 a.m. Skill areas include circle riding, braking, maneuvering, balancing and steering. There will also be a presentation on bike safety. Participants are asked to bring their own bike. Helmets are required to ride. With GOHS' donation, helmets will be available to those who need them.
May is National Bicycle Safety Month. According to GOHS, in 2012, 726 cyclists were killed in the United States and more than 49,000 were injured. In Georgia, 17 cyclists died in bike accidents. TAGA is a grassroots advocacy organization working on improving local bike and pedestrian issues.
"Helmet use is really our biggest concern," says Blackwood. "If we can get every cyclist in the state to use a helmet, we'll be much better off."
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.