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Bicycle Safety

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TEMPORARY COVID-19 RELATED CHANGES

Due to the current pandemic the Boston Public Health Commission and it's Programs are working on an adjusted schedule. Despite the temporary changes the Injury Prevention Program will continue to offer bicycle helmets to residents but on a slightly limited schedule. To order a helmet and make an appointment for pick up, email injuryprevention@bphc.org and a program member will respond within 24 hours. If at the time of pick up you are in need of a fit test, we are also still offering helmet fittings which will now be guided from a safe, physical distance. 

BLUEbikes: Essential workers who work in a restaurant or retail store in Boston are eligible for a FREE 90-day pass to Bluebikes. Click HERE to sign up.

Essential workers who work in a pharmacy or grocery store in Boston or Brookline, Cambridge, Everett or Somerville are eligible for a FREE 90-day pass to Bluebikes. Click HERE to sign up.

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Cycle Safely, Boston: Bicycle Helmet Program

Every bike ride should start with putting on a properly fitting helmet. Our program provides bicycle helmets for as low as $5 to Boston residents, health centers, and other local organizations. We also provide free bicycle helmet fittings, educate communities on bicycle safety, and partner with health centers, public schools, and other local agencies to organize bicycle safety events.

Community partners who serve Boston residents can place an order by completing the Bicycle Helmet Request Form below and emailing it to injuryprevention@bphc.org.  

Boston residents who would like to order a helmet for themselves or others in their family can email injuryprevention@bphc.org

Please contact us at 617-534-5197 if you have any questions about our Bicycle Helmet Program.

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*Click the link above for our Bicycle Helmet Request Form*

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Bluebikes Income-Eligible Program

The Bluebikes Income Eligible Program allows eligible residents to use Bluebikes for $50 for a year of riding or $5 for 30 days of riding. Your membership will include unlimited 60-minute trips and a Bicycle Benefits sticker. 

Residents who are income-eligible or participate in the following assistance programs qualify for the membership.

Boston Housing Authority 
(BHA)
Federal Pell Grant 
(Financial Aid/FAFSA)
Housing Choice Voucher 
(Section 8)
Low Income Energy Assistance Program 
(LIHEAP)
Massachusetts Medicaid Program 
(MassHealth)
National School Lunch Program 
(Free/Reduced Lunch)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 
(SNAP/EBT)
Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance 
(SSI or SSDI)
​Women Infants & Children Nutrition Program 
(WIC)


Guests and clients of homeless shelters and transitional housing agencies in the City of Boston are eligible for a subsidized membership of $5 per year. For more information, call 617-635-1470, or speak to your caseworker.

Sign up for the Income Eligible program with the Mayor's Health Line  (mayorshealthline@bphc.org, 617-534-5050) and receive a bicycle helmet from our program. Learn more about the Income Eligible Program HERE.

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Fit Test + Helmet Safety Facts

To be sure the helmet is a right fit for you, our Cycle Safely, Boston postcard shows you how, in three simple steps, to test a helmet before you ride. 

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*Click the images above for full sized versions of our Cycle Safely, Boston postcard*

Here are three very important helmet safety facts to remember:

  1. Every helmet can withstand one hit if you fall and hit your head. After this you'll need to replace it with a new one as this helmet can no longer safely protect you as intended.
  2. Heat can cause damage to your helmet. Leaving it outside on a hot day or in a car in the warmer months can damage a perfectly good helmet. So, after every ride:
    1. wipe it down
    2. let it air dry
    3. and put it away in a cool, dry place
  3. All helmets have an expiration date. Inside each helmet is a sticker that states the day it was made. Our helmets have a replacement recommendation of 3 years, meaning, three years after the date on the sticker your helmet should be replaced with a new one.

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Concussion Information

A properly fitting helmet can protect you from a concussion. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to a bump, blow or jolt to the head, causing the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. A forceful impact to the body that causes the brain to bounce back and forth against the skull can also cause a concussion. This sudden movement can cause serious damage to the brain such as: bruising, bleeding and tearing.  Symptoms you can experience are: headache, nausea, dizziness, or you may just “not feel right.” If the concussion is severe or is left untreated, the concussion can have long-term consequences such as epilepsy and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain-related disorders.
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*Click the image above for a full sized version of our Concussion Fact Sheet* 

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Bicycling Rules of the Road

  • Massachusetts law requires any person under 17 years old to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, a skateboard, a scooter, or in-line skates.
  • Cyclists should be restricted to sidewalks until they reach 10 years old and can demonstrate they know the rules of the road.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it riding as far to the right as possible.
  • Use appropriate hand signals when cycling.
  • Respect traffic signals stopping at all stop signs and red lights. Stop and look left, right, and left again before entering a street.
  • Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left at intersections.
  • Avoid riding when it’s dark and during rush hour if possible. 
  • Wear reflective material on clothing or bike, and use lights on the bike.

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Additional Resources

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org