Montclair Police Department collaborated with the community back in 2015, rewarding young bike riders for wearing helmets, by giving them a “citation” they could bring to a local business to receive a treat. The ticket rewards program was a way to enhance awareness of bicycle safety.
Now, the Montclair Police Department is trying a two-phase approach, with the commencement of a new Bicycle/Skateboard Safety Initiative, again in collaboration with its main partner/coordinator of the project, Tracey Diamond, of Tracey Diamond Design.
According to Lt. Tyrone Williams and Officer Travis Davis, Montclair Police have been receiving numerous complaints regarding children in town operating bicycles and skateboards without helmets. In an attempt to curtail this dangerous behavior, new special warning tickets will be given to officers on patrol, officers in the traffic bureau, and officers in the Community Service Unit.
When an officer observes a minor riding a bicycle or skateboard without a helmet (or committing another dangerous bicycle offense), the officer will stop the minor and issue the warning summons. In addition to the warning summons, officers will receive coupons to give to the children in violation.
The coupons will be for 10% off a bicycle helmet at certain bike shops in town (Pedal MTC – 15 Midland Avenue; Diamond Cycle – 409 Bloomfield Avenue; and Montclair Bikery – 145 Valley Road). This Phase 1 of the initiative focuses on education and encouragement.
As part of Phase 2 of the initiative, officers will begin to stop children who are observed wearing helmets and operating their bicycles safely and reward them with vouchers redeemable for a special treat at local businesses in town.
Phase 2 – Recognition and Reward – enlists the help of these community partners who will provide treats: Joyist – 617 Valley Road; Local Coffee – 107 Watchung Avenue; Watchung Booksellers – 54 Fairfield Street; Gelati – 571 Bloomfield Avenue; Sweet Home Montclair – 219 Glenridge Avenue; Amore Pizza – 322 Orange Road; Mahir’s Barbershop – 320 Orange Road.
Montclair Police hopes the initiative raises awareness to the dangers of riding without a helmet and improves overall safety throughout the township.