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DDOT Giving Away 500 Bike Helmets To Capital Bikeshare Members

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DDOT is giving away 500 helmets to Capital Bikeshare users to encourage more riders to bike safely in the city.
Markette Smith
DDOT is giving away 500 helmets to Capital Bikeshare users to encourage more riders to bike safely in the city.

Members of Capital Bikeshare that don't have helmets might soon be getting them for free, as the District plans a helmet giveaway program at bike events around the city this fall.

The District Department of Transportation plans to give away 500 helmets to members of Capital Bikeshare. 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.

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, who was returning a bike to the UDC Bikeshare station -- and wearing a helmet -- this morning, 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 ..."

Currently, there is no city law requiring a rider over age 16 to wear a helmet. 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.

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