by Kristen Booth
POLICE are enforcing helmet safety within the community this term, with a major prize up for grabs as incentive.
A habit of not wearing helmets among younger generations has triggered the project, which will raise awareness of bicycle and scooter safety and riding safety in general around town.
Emerald Police Constable Dave Shanahan said the objective of the operation was to raise awareness and education in children.
"Every time we see a primary school, kindergarten, or daycare aged child riding around with a helmet - either on their scooter or bike - they will get a certificate which will put them in the draw to win a brand new bike,” he said.
"All primary schools will be made aware and, at the end of the term, we will deliver a new bike to a student.”
As well as the chance to win a bike, police will also give away frozen coke vouchers for those obeying the law.
Const Shanahan said a lot of the time kids didn't wear helmets on scooters because they didn't have to.
"That's why if we see a kid on a scooter wearing a helmet, they'll get a certificate too,” he said.
"Kids should wear helmets with scooters for the same reason as a bike - it's just as easy to fall off.
"A little rock can knock you off a scooter and it's been shown if you have a helmet on, your less likely to hurt yourself.”
As well as educating youngsters, Emerald police will show zero tolerance for bicycle offences.
Const Shanahan said they were educating kids and enforcing bike-related legislation within the community.
"We will target all bicycle offences,” he said. "These include riding with no helmet, riding with a mobile phone in hand and riding at night without a light.”