Rancho Cordova bicyclists younger than 12 years old can receive a ticket to free ice cream cone if a police officer spots them wearing bicycle helmets and following the rules of the road.
The Rancho Cordova Police Department, in partnership with the Folsom Cordova Unified School District and Rancho Cordova McDonald's, has initiated a Bicycle Safe/Back to School outreach program, issuing positive reinforcement safety citations to children.
Officers contacting children who are not wearing helmets may issue a safety citation providing the youngsters an opportunity to receive one free bicycle helmet from the Cordova Lane Center at 2460 Cordova Lane, according to a Police Department news release.
The program will continue until Nov. 2.
The objective, according to police, is to reinforce the importance of bicycle safety, wearing a bicycle helmet and following the rules of the road, while also giving children an opportunity to interact with officers in a positive way.
Police say studies have shown that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce head injuries by up to 85 percent. Helmets should have a snug, but comfortable fit.
Children also are advised to wear proper clothing: light in color for visibility and close-fitting to avoid being caught in the bicycle's moving parts. Youngsters also should stow any items they are carrying with them in backpacks rather than holding them while bicycling.
Parents are encouraged to teach children to ride on the right side of the street, with the flow of traffic, and to obey stop and yield signs, traffic signals and road markings.