Volunteers and staff members of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo received their certification for “helmet fitting” on November 28th. The training was facilitated by Park Services Specialist, Elena Muratori, and co-taught by Alison Kerr of the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County.
Florida Helmet Law for children (Florida Statute 316.2065) states that “a bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap….this includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.”
Certified helmet fitters can receive free bike helmets from the Florida Pedestrian Bicycle Resource Center, funded by the FDOT, for distribution to the community at no cost.
Bicycle safety is an important public health issue in the Florida Keys. A larger proportion of Monroe County’s population bikes to work than any other county in the state of Florida, and research shows that Monroe County has the highest fatality rate, the highest ER visit rate, and the 3rd highest hospitalization rate in the state for bicycle accidents with motor vehicles.*
*Monroe County has 1.7 deaths per 100,000 population, FL Average is 0.6 per 100,000; the Monroe County emergency department visit rate for bicyclists being struck by motor vehicles is 75.09 per 100,000 versus the FL average of 25.89 per 100,000. All statistics are from FLCHARTS, 2017).
For more information about the program, call 305-676-3820.