Kids at Moncton skate park issued ‘tickets’ for wearing helmets
The New Brunswick Department of Health has teamed up with cities in Greater Moncton and the RCMP to launch a positive ticketing pilot program aimed to encourage more kids to wear helmets while cycling and skateboarding.
Municipal workers are patrolling and handing out tickets to helmet users in the hopes of saving a life.
Myles Ross, who is a seasonal worker for the City of Moncton, said he’s already getting a positive response. He said he only hands out the tickets to children using their helmets.
“They like it. They always light up when I tell them what it is for,” he said.
“When kids see me handing these out they are like, ‘Oh, next time I am going to bring my helmet so I can win a prize.”
According to statistics released by the N.B. Health Council, the percentage of students in grades 6 to 12 who always used their helmets when cycling fell below 50 per cent.
Public Health Nurse Natalie Lirette-Bourque said in the Greater Moncton area, only 45 per cent of students in Dieppe and 38 per cent in Moncton and Riverview always wore their helmets while riding in the last 12 months.
She said it’s an alarming statistic considering head trauma is the number one cause of death among kids who get into cycling accidents.
To raise more awareness about helmet use, Public Health launched the positive ticketing program on July 1.
READ MORE: Helmets save lives
The kids fill out a ballot on the tickets which they can enter at any of the three public libraries for a chance to win prizes, Ross said. Prizes include one of four new bicycles and helmets.
According to Dr. Richard Louis, injury prevention coordinator with the N.B. Trauma Program, ” A properly fitting helmet can reduce the risk of serious brain injury by as much as 85 per cent.”
If successful, the goal is to roll out the positive ticketing program provincewide next year.
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