On Friday, May 25, Allendale Police kicked off their 2nd annual bicycle and skateboard helmet initiative and have once again been armed with various gift cards to issue as a positive reward for persons found wearing their helmets.

Enforcing New Jersey’s bicycle and skateboard safety helmet law for anyone under 17 remains a priority for Allendale Police Officers year round, but as warmer weather and increased bicycle usage approaches, the Department heightens it attention on the important safety issue that impacts all roadway users.

According to Sgt. Todd Griffith, Allendale’s Traffic Safety Officer, the death rate in the United States for bicyclists remains over 800 killed per year, with over 45,000 bicyclists injured. According to Griffith, “we hope both adults and children take notice of how important bicycle helmet usage is as the average age of a bicyclist killed in traffic is 45 years old”.

Sgt. Griffith adds that during last year’s initiative, the attention the program received by Northern Highlands DV Pilot, along with the Borough’s social media sites caused some very welcome excitement with local downtown businesses.

“We started last year with an anonymous donor providing funds for awards for area children wearing helmets, and we had a partnership with a few business owners that we approached. The program was well received with increased compliance rates observed. This year, our Dunkin Donuts, Village Pizza, Bernie’s Bagels, Tuscona Pizza, Sky Zone and Dairy Queen were all looking forward to supporting the program, so ample reward certificates are available this year for free pizza, ice cream, donuts, bagels and sky zone jump time” claims Griffith.

The downside for persons under 17 who find themselves on a skateboard or bicycle without their helmet on: besides no free treats the potential exists after one warning for a summons with mandatory appearance required for parents and a fine up to $100.00.

Parents unsure of helmet specifications and requirements should contact Police headquarters.