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Bike Helmet Campaign

Coupons to promote bike safety

June 28, 2007

The OPP and Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition once again are partnering up to offer incentives to kids to wear their bike helmets this summer.
“We’ll issue coupons to young people who are found by police wearing their bike helmets,” said RRVSC co-ordinator Hugh Dennis
The coupons can be redeemed for a free ice cream cone at McDonald’s in Fort Frances.
“It’s to encourage young people to wear their helmets because it does prevent injury,” Dennis noted.
“For us, it’s all about safety,” said Insp. Dave Lucas, OPP detachment commander for the Rainy River District.
The program has run in Fort Frances for the past several years, but was spread district-wide—from Rainy River to Atikokan—only last year.
The incentives have proven effective in past years, Dennis said.
“If there’s a group of three kids out on their bikes, and there’s one with a helmet, he gets the coupon. The other two see that and want a coupon, too, so they’ll wear their helmet next time,” he reasoned.
Once kids learn the program is running, they are anxious to wear their helmet and get their coupon.
“Last year, our officers didn’t have to search for the kids, they were searching for us,” Insp. Lucas laughed.
He noted it’s important that parents talk to their children about bike safety—and make sure they provide them with helmets.
“Our main approach to this is education. It’s an excellent opportunity for that,” Insp. Lucas added.
Treaty Three police and the CN police also will be handing out McDonald’s coupons this summer.
Dennis noted the program would not be possible without the contributions of district retailers, as well as local media that help promote it.

Rainy River colouring Contest

Police to give out tickets to kids who obey the law
By Ken Johnston

Kids beware... you could get a ticket from the police... that is if you are obeying the law!
For the second year policemen across the district are armed with a bunch of tickets to give out to kids 16 and under for wearing their bike helmets.
“It is all about promoting bike safety and the wearing of helmets,” said Hugh Dennis of the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition.
In the Rainy River area the police have 75 tickets to hand out which will entitle the recipient to a free ice cream cone at Chesterfried Chicken/Roadrunner Motel. Chesterfried donated 25 of the tickets and the RRVSC purchased the rest.
“The program was a huge success last year with kids looking for the police to show them they are wearing their helmets,” said Dennis. “Handlebar helmets do not count. They have to be wearing them.” By handlebar he means kids that aren’t wearing them but instead hang them on their handlebars after they are out of sight from their parents, do not qualify for a ticket.
There were also 300 tickets distributed in Fort Frances and 75 in Atikokan.
This is the 7th or 8th year for the program in Fort but it was expanded last year to the district.


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