Cities of Sierra Vista, Tucson and Yuma, Flagstaff, as well as Pima County, require helmets for anyone under the age of 18 while bicycling. Most safety officials recommend them for all riders, particularly children. Charges and fines are often dismissed if a helmet is obtained.
There are as as many as 500,000 injuries yearly from bicycle accidents, and 60 percent of those occur among children 15 or under. The Center for Disease Control estimates helmets could cut serious injuries by 60 percent.
Tucson has created a special safety education program, for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, to raise awareness of safety issues through classes and seminars. They are also raising awareness through a public relations campaign.
While helmets may prevent injuries while cycling, they should not be worn while not cycling. Children should not wear helmets while climbing or using playground equipment, as there is a danger of the helmet getting caught and strangling the child.
Tucson has also made a great effort in painting signs on streets and bike paths for cyclists, making sure they know which way to go.
Cyclists are considered vehicles, so must follow the same guidelines, and has the same rights and responsibilities that automobiles have on the road.
Article Written By James Jordan
James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.