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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

UC Davis launches bike helmet promotion campaign


University to offer affordable bike helmets and 5 dollar CoHo gift cards to helmet-wearing students

The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) has partnered with various members of the UC Davis community to launch “Helmet Hair Don’t Care,” a new bike helmet promotion campaign. This initiative will provide students with inexpensive helmet options along with incentives, such as ASUCD Coffee House gift cards, to encourage more of the student body to wear helmets when biking.

According to a 2014 American Community Survey, Davis has the highest population of bicyclists in the U.S., with 23.2 percent of the city’s population commuting via bicycle,

According to data collected by the National College Health Assessment in spring 2016, less than 8 percent of undergraduate students wear helmets, which is far below the national average of 32 percent.

“We saw [the statistic] as a pretty big indicator that we need to step up our game on that level,” SHWC student assistant Steven Kracke said.

“Helmet Hair Don’t Care” combines resources from the Bike Barn, CoHo, SHWC, Transportation and Parking Services and the UC Davis Police Department to create a campaign that appeals to the student body.


As part of the campaign, the Bike Barn will sell helmets for $13 each and accept coupons for 13 percent off any helmet in order to provide students with affordable helmet options.

“The point isn’t to make money. The point is to get people to wear helmets and be safe,” said Robert St. Cyr, Bike Barn general manager.

Starting the week of April 10, if a campus police officer sees a student wearing a helmet while biking, the student will be rewarded with a $5 gift card to the CoHo.

“We will be handing out 300 gift cards throughout the quarter,” said Shantille Connolly, a wellness health educator. “We’re hoping to also obtain funding for an additional quarter and make it more of a sustainable model.”

Focus groups organized by Kracke revealed that appearance, convenience and affordability were the top reasons why students don’t wear helmets. To combat this, Connolly and Kracke launched the “Helmet Hair Don’t Care” campaign.

“One of the biggest barriers that students indicated was appearance,” Connolly said. “They also said that by providing affordable helmets and by having their peers use helmets, they’d be more likely to use helmets.”

Connolly and Kracke view the launch of “Helmet Hair Don’t Care” as just the beginning of the initiative.

“We’re hoping that this coming Fall Quarter will have a much larger role with orientation and welcome week. When students get here, they get the message,” Connolly said.

Posters around campus and future helmet-related activities are meant to gain momentum around “Helmet Hair Don’t Care” and raise awareness of helmet use within the UC Davis student community.

“We want to get people thinking about it, as opposed to just accepting the norm of not having helmets,” Kracke said.

Written by: Lindsay Floyd – campus@theaggie.org


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