Program encourages kids to wear helmets

MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With the warm weather and schools out for summer, kids are having fun riding their bikes.

On Wednesday, there’s a push to encourage them to enjoy the outdoors safely.

State Senator Jim Tedisco is partnering with local officials to preach bike safety in the community, giving out “good tickets” for a free ice cream to children who are wearing their helmets.

“The purpose of it is use positive incentive to get kids to wear their helmets but to get everybody to wear their helmets during the summer,” Sen. Tedisco said.

The Safe Summer Program aims to not only reinforce the importance of wearing helmets but also to help families who might not be able to afford one.

“Serious head injuries occur when someone is not wearing a helmet and they strike the pavement so it’s imperative that the kids do wear their helmets. If a child cannot afford a helmet, there are coupons available. Come to our office and we will make sure that a child does get a helmet,” Sheriff Michael Zurlo said.

This is the 20th anniversary of the safe summer program and Sen. Tedisco says over the years the program has had a great impact on the safety of children in the community.

“The anecdote information we’ve talked to the emergency rooms and they say the numbers seem to be down,” Sen. Tedisco said.

The hopes are that this sweet incentive will continue to keep children safe and create a positive interaction between children and law enforcement.

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