Manitoba

Manitoba goes for world record on bike helmets

Manitoba is trying to cap a world record with headgear.
RAW: Winnipeg Students and staff try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing helmets 0:38

Manitoba is trying to cap a world record with headgear.

The province marked nearly 10 years since it introduced low cost bike helmets with a show of force of more than 1,300 students and staff from local schools.

The program was first announced in May 2006.

Wednesday's event was also an effort to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing helmets, which is currently 1,263.
The province invited more than 1,300 students and staff from local schools in an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing helmets, which is currently 1,263. (John Bronevitch/CBC)

"This Guinness World Record attempt is a fun way to celebrate and bring renewed awareness to the Low-Cost Bike Helmet Initiative," said Colin Mathieson, RBC Olympian and four-time Canadian Paralympian wheelchair racer in a statement.  

"We want to encourage youth to remain safe as they engage in a life of healthy and active living - whether it be on the playground or in pursuing the top of the podium."

The province said more than 104,000 low-cost or free bike helmets have been distributed since the program began nearly a decade ago.

The anniversary and world-record attempt also marked Clean Air Day and Bike to School Month. 

"Cycling is a fun, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around, whether you're going to work, school, running errands or just out for a ride,"  said Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Deanne Crothers in the statement. "But safety is rule number one." 
The province said about 40 per cent of the 165 cyclists injured every year are under 18. (John Bronevitch/CBC)

The province said about 165 cyclists end up in the hospital every year, with some ending in death. 

About 40 per cent of those injuries are to cyclists under 18.  

The province made it mandatory for cyclists under 18 to wear helmets in 2013. 

It says low-cost helmets will continue to be available this year and schools and child-care facilities will get details on next year's program in the fall. 

In the meantime, the province is asking Guinness World Record officials to verify Manitoba's attempt and will release the result when it hears back. 

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