If you’ve visited our site before, then you know by now that we are big fans of helmets, so when effective and inspirational techniques are created to promote their use, we applaud!
Richard Degener writes about a new Cape May program designed to increase both helmet use by kids and foster positive reactions to police officers. This clever idea has police giving out “positive tickets” to children who are wearing helmets while riding their bikes.
Cape May is one of 75 towns in New Jersey that are participating in this program, which is trying to reach children under 16 years old as that is the legal limit on required helmet use. The organization recognizes that the preteen to teen age group tends to be more likely to rebel against this regulation, so they had to come up with a creative solution that will hopefully help reach these youth.
Wendy Berk, the prevention coordinator for this association, says that statewide use is only around 20 percent, with 230,000 children treated for bicycle injuries last year alone. This same program has been in use for ten years in Cranberry, Middlesex county and according to Berk, helmet usage is up to 94 percent there. These numbers seem to prove the plan’s usefulness over time.
With its high rate of effectiveness, perhaps other states and even countries will consider implementing similar programs. If you have heard of any, please share.