During their patrols over the summer, deputies from the Morton County Sheriff’s Office will be on the lookout for kids wearing helmets when they’re on the streets biking, skating, or boarding. Anybody they find wearing a helmet will receive a ‘citation’ for doing so. And these are very good citations.
These ‘citations’ can be exchanged at Dairy Queen locations across North Dakota for free small cones . This is all part of the American Automobile Association’s ‘Don’t Get Caught’ campaign- which arms police officers with ice cream coupons to reward kids following the proper safety procedures.
This isn’t the first time these citations have made their way to North Dakota either. The program has been active in North Dakota summers since 2013, and a total of over 100,000 ice cream citations have been written around the state since then, with additional branches of the campaign in Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck.
This campaign serves a major purpose in Morton County: promoting safe helmet habits. A recent study from the National Library of Medicine states that wearing a helmet drastically reduces the chance of head injury (by 48%), serious head injury (by 60%), and traumatic brain injury (by 53%). These studies also reveal that positive reinforcements, like the campaign ‘Don’t Get Caught’, are great ways to incentivize and reinforce proper safety procedures.
“We want to promote safety with our kids and within our community,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier in a press release. “We hope positive reinforcement to youth will also encourage parents to take the next step and model the habit of wearing helmets themselves.”
The AAA has reported that the response from local communities has been extremely positive, and they hope to continue the program in the future. And we’re sure the kids don’t mind, either.