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A helmet and kids idea bubbling in my brain ...(9 posts)

A helmet and kids idea bubbling in my brain ...Humma Hah
Oct 1, 2003 4:09 PM
This idea sneaks back into my mind every now and then, and I never get off my butt and DO something about it.

We all see scores of kids riding every year without helmets. And most of our locales have laws requiring helmet use by kids. But the cops almost never stop the kids or say anything to them. What to do?

So my idea is this ... we convince local bike shops to set up a fund ... really just an account, into which concerned cyclists can make a donation, maybe $15-20 bucks to pay for a passable kids helmet. The bike shops then issue gift certificates to the police department, with instructions to give them out to kids they catch without helmets. The deal is, the kids get a ticket, but the ticket will be voided if they show proof they've used the certificate to buy a helmet, or bought one outright.

The cops would then have a program to make them more interested in the problem, and feel like they can do something constructive instead of just pestering kids. The kids know the cops are checking, and know if they get caught again they'll owe a fine.

Would this work? Anybody heard of a similar program?

I donate a couple of bike helmets to toy drives every year, but I always wonder if they're used or appreciated. This program would be more likely to see the headgear used, and the cops would give them out in a season when kids are actually riding.
re: A helmet and kids idea bubbling in my brain ...astrobiker
Oct 1, 2003 4:48 PM
Put me in the sceptic category. I see lots of kids riding "with" helmets... hanging over the handle bars, rakishly slid way back on their head or off to the side (very fashionable, you know). Educating the parents is the only thing that wil do it!
Schenectady, NYAndy M-S
Oct 1, 2003 5:54 PM
A few years ago, when I lived in Schenectady, they had an even better idea. If a cop spotted a kid wearing a helmet, the cop pulled him over and wrote him a ticket--for free ice cream at Friendly's.

My son and I were out riding one day and got pulled over, and I must say that the result was very satisfactory. He NEVER rides without a helmet...
They do the same in my townPsalm 147-10_11
Oct 2, 2003 5:46 AM
Two local ice cream shops do the same thing in my town. Every summer the police stop young kids wearing helmets and give them a free ice cream coupon as a reward for wearing their helmet. It must be great for the ice cream shops too as most of these kids will end up going there with the rest of their family who are "paying customers".

Two of my sons were stopped one day in the neighborhood and were given the coupons while some of their friends without helmets got nothing. After that the other boys wore their helmets and the cops came back a few days later and rewarded them too.
GO Schenectady, NY!!raboboy
Oct 2, 2003 10:46 AM
sorry. was my hometown. :)
re: A helmet and kids idea bubbling in my brain ...TNRyder
Oct 1, 2003 5:58 PM
In TN, they have a law stating that kids have to wear helmets whenever riding on PUBLIC ROADS. I guess that they don't require any protection when riding off road?! Anyway, the fine is $2.00 for the first offense, and I think $7.00 for repeat offenders. If you bring in a reciept for a helmet, the fine is waived.

Unfortunately, the police don't enforce, and I always saw kids riding w/out helmets. The local bike cops even stopped by my kids school once. She only said that they asked who had helmets. No training on proper wear etc.

I agree it is up to the parents, but we as a society could do more. As cyclists, it is our duty to set a good example and ride with our helmets on all of the time. Kids will respect us more if we do as we tell them too.

Some parents are beyond comprehension though. I had one of the kids in our old neighborehood wearing her helmet for about 3 days before her MOTHER said something to her about how it was messing up her hair and looked funny. Ever feel like beating other kids' parents?
public roadsSteve_0
Oct 2, 2003 9:08 AM
in NJ, the law reads 'public places'. Roads, parks, beaches are fair game.

Private land, diff't story.
re: A helmet and kids idea bubbling in my brain ...snapdragen
Oct 1, 2003 6:10 PM
I'm not sure if I remember this correctly, but I think the bike club in Davis, CA has a program that provides helmets to kids. You might try contacting them.
Where I live (Oakland, California) Childrens Hospital hasbicyclerepairman
Oct 2, 2003 4:45 PM
a program where people living on low incomes can get a free helmet for their child.