The Leesburg Police Department will team up with Amscot Financial this Saturday, Oct. 20, to provide children with free bike safety helmets.
Helmets will be available from 9 a.m. to noon at the Amscot office at 1100 W. North Blvd. in Leesburg. Small, medium and large sizes are available to children in pre-school and elementary grades. An officer also will provide fittings to make sure children wear the helmets correctly.
“Accidents are the number one cause of deaths among children,” said Senior Police Officer Mike Howard. “This makes the helmet giveaway very important if we can help prevent head injuries.”
This marks the second year that the Leesburg Police Department has partnered with Amscot. Police officers have given away hundreds of bicycles and helmets to deserving children over the past two decades through generous support of companies and public donations.
Amscot has offered 40,000 free bike helmets across Florida since 2002. This year the company is working with law enforcement agencies in 15 Florida counties for this weekend’s giveaway.
“Bike helmets save lives. We know that. We have had customers in the past who have come in to tell us how a helmet was instrumental in preventing a serious injury to their children,” said Ian MacKechnie, founder and CEO of Amscot Financial. “That is a big reason why we commit to this bike helmet program year after year. We want to ensure that children who live in our communities have access to a properly fitted helmet.”
Florida is second in the nation behind California in bicycle-related deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 80 bicycle-related deaths were recorded in Florida in 2010.
Nationally, bicyclists between the ages of 5 and 16 accounted for 11 percent of all cyclists killed and 21 percent of all those injured in traffic crashes during 2010. More than 91 percent of all bicyclists killed did not wear helmets even though the safety devices reduce head injury risk by up to 85 percent.
For more information about the helmet giveaway, contact the Leesburg Police Department at 352-728-9860.
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.