Exercise safely this summer and get free ice cream to beat the heat. That’s the goal of the innovative Safe Summer Bike Helmet program founded by Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) which kicked off yesterday for its 22ndyear.
Senator Tedisco joined with Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino, Mayfield Mayor Jamie Ward and Gloversville Supervisor Charlie Potter, to lead the Mayfield summer camp attendees in a bike ride and then scooped free ice cream cones donated by Stewart’s Shops.
This year, Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program will distribute 5,000 “good tickets” for free ice cream cones to 23 police departments to reward children who wear their helmets while bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading, and give free bike helmets to kids who need one.
Tedisco’s program uses positive reinforcement to get all neighborhood kids into the habit of wearing their helmets for safe biking and promotes positive interactions between children and law enforcement. The Safe Summer program is made possible thanks to donations from participating businesses: Stewart’s Shops, Friendly’s, Hayner’s Ice Cream Hall of Fame in Halfmoon andBen & Jerry’s. The law firm of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti LLPis donating hundreds of new bike helmets to police departments in the 49thSenate District to distribute to children who need them.
“Summer is the season for kids to have fun but we can’t ever forget that they need to keep safety in mind. I want children to enjoy the summer but I also want them to be safe when they’re riding their bicycles. My Safe Summer program reminds kids to wear their helmets while rewarding good behavior with coupons for free ice cream,” said Senator Tedisco. “This program is a true community partnership among businesses, law enforcement, government and parents and it’s truly a model for how caring people can come together and promote a fun and safe environment for children. Safe Summer also provides positive interactions between law enforcement and kids.”
It’s the law in New York State that children up to age 14 must wear a bicycle helmet or parents could face $50 fine. According to the New York State Department of Health, an average of 54 New Yorkers are killed each year in bicycle crashes and 19,000 residents are treated at a hospital due to bike-related injuries. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability in bicycle crashes, accounting for more than 60 percent of bike-related deaths. The cost of a bicycle helmet is approximately $20.00. The average charge for a hospital stay due to a bicycle related brain injury is $23,000 with an average length of stay of four days. In New York, annual hospitalization charges related to care for persons with a bicycle related brain injury is $20 million.
Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program aims to address these alarming statistics by using positive reinforcement to get all neighborhood kids into the habit of wearing their helmets for safe biking, in-line skating, or riding a skateboard or scooter.
“Senator Tedisco's Safe Summer Bike Helmet Safety Program is an excellent program for several reasons. They include promoting safety while bike riding, reducing injuries to young people and improving relationships between law enforcement and children in the communities we serve. I thank Senator Tedisco, Stewart’s, Friendly’s, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti and all the sponsors for making the program a success,” said Fulton County Sheriff Richard C. Giardino.
“The Safe Summer Bike Helmet Safety program is an innovative way to encourage young people to wear their bike helmets that Senator Tedisco has brought to Fulton County and the Mayfield Summer Recreation Program and I’m proud to join the Senator to once again implement the Safe Summer initiative here in Fulton County,” said Village of Mayfield Mayor Jamie Ward.
“Senator Tedisco continues his dedication to keeping Gloversville and all of Fulton County’s children safe. This is a great program with strong community support that I’m delighted to work with Senator Tedisco and our local law enforcement on promoting to Fulton County kids,” said Gloversville Supervisor Charlie Potter.
“We look forward to Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program each year; there’s no better way to kick-off summer than with ice cream! We are proud to partner with local law enforcement to reward kids all over the Capital Region for wearing their helmets while biking. At Stewart’s Shops, We Are Closer to You,” said Erica Komoroske, Stewart’s Shops spokesperson.
“We are so proud to be part of Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer program. It really is a fantastic way to raise awareness about bicycle safety in our communities. Providing helmets for children who need them and helping promote positive interactions between civilians and law enforcement, plays an important role in protecting and strengthening our communities. Summer is a wonderful time of year, we hope that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy it to the fullest and if Martin, Harding & Mazzotti can play a small role in that, we’re honored to do it,” said Daniel P. Dagostino, Supervising Attorney.
Participating police departments that will distribute free ice cream coupons and bike helmets to kids include: Fulton County Sheriff, Hamilton County Sheriff, Herkimer County Sheriff, Broadalbin Police, Gloversville Police, Johnstown Police, Northville Police, Indian Lake Police, Inlet Police, Webb Police, Saratoga County Sheriff, Schenectady County Sheriff, Ballston Spa Police, Clifton Park Town Security, Galway Police, Glenville Police, Niskayuna Police, Rensselaer Police, Rotterdam Police, Saratoga Springs Police, City of Schenectady Police, Scotia Police, and Stillwater Police