Lathrop Police Services has seen an uptick in the number of accidents this year involving Lathrop High School students on bicycles and noticed that very few of those students were wearing helmets at the time of the incident.
And on Tuesday morning, they did something about it.
After loading up the agency’s new patrol pickup truck with helmets, School Resource Deputy Matthew Dargy posted along the route and offered free safety tips and bicycle helmets for students who needed them.
“Student safety comes first and we will always be there to help,” Dargy said.
The bicycle helmets were all donated by local residents and businesses and are dispersed to young people throughout the year as the need arises.
Every year the agency hosts a “bicycle rodeo” to help promote positive bicycle safety habits amongst young people and ensure that all kids are equipped with a properly fitting helmet.
According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute, 57-percent of bicycle-related fatalities could be prevented with the use of a helmet. California, as a state that has a mandatory bicycle helmet law that makes it mandatory for all children 17 and under to wear a bicycle helmet, was part of a grouping of states that saw a 25 percent reduction in the number of youth fatalities after the helmet laws went into effect.
And pedestrian safety has been a major focal point for both the City of Lathrop and the Manteca Unified School District ever since Lathrop High School began accepting students.
Because the school site is located on the west side of Interstate 5, students in Historic Lathrop and newer neighborhoods like Stonebridge and Woodfield Estates have to cross under the arterial interstate in order to get to the campus. Earlier this year the Lathrop City Council approved spending $40,000 in Measure C funds to install a lighted crosswalk along the path to ensure students are able to arrive at the campus safely.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.