Gwent Police is peddling a safety campaign designed to encourage more children to wear helmets when riding their bicycles.
As part of the campaign, neighbourhood policing teams in Monmouthshire are awarding high-visibility stickers to every child they see wearing a helmet. Conversely, children seen riding without one are stopped by officers and given advice on the safety benefits of wearing a helmet. A follow-up letter reinforcing this advice is also delivered to their parents.
The ‘Kool Kids Wear Lids’ campaign was launched in August 2011 and has the support of Welsh Cycling, the Monmouthshire Road Safety Forum and the Accident and Emergency Departments of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board. In the first six weeks of the campaign 204 children aged up to 12 years were approached by officers and of those stopped, 122 were wearing helmets and awarded luminous sticker badges containing the words ‘Kool Kids Wear Lids’.
Inspector Geoff Smith, of Monmouthshire Local Policing Unit, said: “The feedback we have received from the parents of children we have stopped is favourable.
“It is encouraging that 17 of the youngsters approached when riding without a helmet have later been spotted wearing lids after being given advice from local officers. We want to inform youngsters in the area that bike helmets are not uncool – they are essential pieces of safety equipment that can save lives.”
Carolyn Derosaire, RSO for Monmouthshire, said: “This whole campaign has been based on a very real community concern raised by people at the cutting edge.
“A&E Staff at Nevill Hall Hospital initially contacted me because there was a surge in young cyclists admitted to hospital with head injuries. The feeling is that, if these children had been wearing cycle helmets, they could have avoided much of the distress which accompanies any injury, particularly if it’s preventable.”
For more information contact Penny Thorpe on 01633 463376.