While on patrol this summer, North Dakota law enforcement agencies will be looking for kids wearing helmets. If caught, a child may find themselves making a trip to a local Dairy Queen restaurant.
As part of AAA’s “I Got Caught” campaign, as many as 12,000 North Dakota youth will be written a ‘citation’ for a free small DQ cone for wearing a helmet while biking, skateboarding or in-line skating.
“We want to encourage youth to wear a helmet in hopes they develop a lifelong appreciation for safety,” said Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group in a statement. “Program sponsors enjoy providing positive reinforcement to youth and hope parents will take the next step in modeling the desired habit of wearing helmets themselves.”
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, helmets reduced overall head injuries by about 60 percent and reduced fatalities by about 73 percent. The study also found that law enforcement and other safety officials can reinforce the need to wear a helmet through positive interactions such as free or discounted helmet distribution programs and incentives for helmet use.
Due to overwhelming positive response from communities, the number of citations provided law enforcement agencies across North Dakota has grown over the eight years of the program, according to LaDoucer.
Since 2013, more than 80,000 citations for a free DQ ice cream cone have been issued to youth across the state.