DC Giving Away Helmets to Capital Bikeshare Members

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photo by sciascia via Flickr

(Markette Smith -- Washington DC, WAMU) Members of Capital Bikeshare who don't have helmets could soon be getting them for free.

The District Department of Transportation plans to give away 500 helmets his fall. There are more than 1,000 bikes for rent in the D.C. area through the program, but riders who rent their wheels may not own a helmet. DC does not have a helmet law for cyclists over 16.

DDOT officials say they're doing the giveaway to encourage these riders to bike safely. Previously, members were offered a 10 percent discount on helmets at bike shops that partner with DDOT.

Cyclist Benjamin Crane thinks it's a good idea. "I'm a member. I wear a helmet. But a lot of them don't," he says. "Maybe it messes up your hair, maybe you don't own a bike so you haven't bought a helmet. I didn't buy a membership until I bought a helmet, because I know there's a lot of risk of brain injury, and I like my brain."

DDOT has said that they won't stop at 500 helmets for the giveaway, and that when they run out, they'll give away more.

You can listen to WAMU's story here.