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Helmet giveaway designed to make streets safer for students

The City of Claremont unanimously approved the adoption of a bike helmet program last week, working to provide fitted helmets to children kindergarten through eighth grade in need.

The helmet giveaway is a new component being introduced through the Safe Routes to School Program. Implemented last spring, Safe Routes provides education, training and incentives for students to promote the safe use of public walkways for walking or biking to school. The new helmet fund furthers the council’s continued focus on encouraging safe cycling among Claremont residents.

While the city will contribute up to $10,000 over the next 3 years in grant funding for the project, Mr. Pedroza will also contribute $200 leftover from his election campaign.

“Once that grant runs out, if another grant is not available then this program will come to an end,” said City Manager Tony Ramos.

Mr. Pedroza contributed to the start of a helmet program after his experience being involved in a serious bicycle accident last August.

“I truly feel like my helmet saved my life,” Mr. Pedroza said. “I really could have been much worse off if it wasn’t for my helmet. Out of that experience came the awareness that the simple act of wearing a helmet is so significant. I would hate think that somebody would not wear a helmet simply because they cannot afford one.”

Mr. Pedroza approached staff, who encouraged donating his money through Safe Route’s helmet giveaway, a program they had been moving toward implementation since its kickoff last April. Through the program, children in need will be identified and provided with a helmet that meets current safety standards. The Safe Routes to School consultant will work with local bike shops and organizations to acquire and properly fit the gear.  

Mr. Pedroza hopes his contribution, along with grant funding, will provide a springboard for other revenue sources.

“It’s seed money that will hopefully encourage others to contribute to programs like this in our community,” he said. 

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