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Saved by the Helmet Award

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Major Carrick presenting Carl King his Saved by the Helmet award.
Major Grady Carrick presents Carl King with
his Saved by the Helmet award.

The Florida Highway Patrol's Troop G is pilot testing a new program designed to promote the use of helmets by motorcyclists and bicyclists. The Saved by the Helmet Award was created to recognize riders of motorcycles and bicycles who are involved in crashes, and are spared death or serious injury, because they were wearing head protection. This recognition is similar to the Saved by the Belt award that has been around for a number of years.

Motorcycle fatalities have steadily increased over the last several years. In 2004, 388 motorcyclists were killed in Florida crashes, and more than 6,558 injured. That same year, 119 bicyclists were killed and 4,820 injured. In many cases, the difference between life and death is a protective helmet. From a safety standpoint, we always want to encourage the use of a helmet for anyone riding a bike or motorcycle.

On October 4, 2006, Carl King was riding his motorcycle to work when another vehicle cut him off causing Mr. King to lose control of his motorcycle. Mr. King was ejected onto the pavement and the first thing that struck the ground was his helmet. Just after this crash occurred, a good Samaritan stopped to assist him and was struck by a hit & run driver as well.

After reading the article in the Florida Times Union about the crash Mr. King was involved in and the fact that he and the emergency room doctor credited his helmet for sparing him from more serious injury, Major Grady Carrick presented Mr. King with the very first Saved by the Helmet certificate, along with a SBTH sticker to place on his helmet.

This Saved by the Helmet award program has been extended to all sheriff’s and police departments within Troop G's boundaries in order to recognize individuals who are truly saved by the helmet. All the law enforcement department has to do is fill out a SBTH application and include a copy of the crash report to FHP headquarters in Jacksonville, and a certificate will be issued.

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