Police, in conjunction with the Wairarapa Road Safety Council, will be putting extra focus on the issue between January 24 and February 3, in order to raise compliance rates of Wairarapa cyclists.
“A large number of Wairarapa cyclists fail to wear a cycle helmet while riding on our roads,” says Sergeant Ian Osland, Area Manager for Youth and Community Services.
“This happens across all age ranges, but of concern is the risk our younger community members are exposed to by not wearing a helmet.”
Data from safekids.nz(link is external) shows that cycling-related injuries are one of the top ten causes of unintentional injury-related deaths for children in New Zealand. More than 480 children are hospitalised for cycling related injuries every year, and up to five children die from cycle-related injuries every year. A helmet reduces your risk of a severe brain injury in a crash by up to 74 percent.
Most Wairarapa schools will be returning on Monday, January 30, for the 2017 school year, which will see an increase in cycling by children and youth across the area.
Wairarapa Police will be actively focused on enforcing the law through the period January 24 – February 3, and those not wearing approved cycle helmets correctly can expect to be spoken to by Police.
“Children, in particular, are incredibly influenced by the behaviour and habits of those around them,” Sergeant Osland says.
“Make bike helmets a no-brainer.”
The Wairarapa Road Safety Council is pleased to be working with local Police to ensure our most vulnerable young road users are aware of the need for compliance with helmet laws.
“Back to school time is the perfect opportunity to incentivise and reward safe and positive cycle behaviour,” says manager Bruce Pauling.
“Those flouting the law by not wearing helmets are not only setting bad examples to our young road users, but are exposing themselves to risk and injury, which can affect us all in some manner, either directly or by way of the massive social costs of injury or fatal crashes.”
As an added incentive, Police will also provide to those cyclists seen riding safely and with the approved safety equipment an entry form to go into the draw for a gift pack arranged by the Wairarapa Road Safety Council.
Thanks go to Avanti Plus and Happy Valley Cycles for their support.
Issued by the Police Media Centre
More information on safer cycling can be found on the Wairarapa Road Safety Council website(link is external).