With hopes of increasing awareness of a new statewide helmet law
for skateboarders, skaters and scooter enthusiasts, police are
rewarding young helmet-wearers with free scoops of ice cream.
For the next few weeks, traffic officers are handing out
Baskin-Robbins ice cream coupons for those who comply with the law.
But after that, watch out.
“We plan aggressive enforcement of the new [helmet] law,” Sgt. Ron
The new law, which went into effect at the beginning of this year,
requires anyone younger than 18 to wear a helmet while riding a
nonmotorized scooter, skateboard and in-line or roller skates.
Previously, helmets were required only for youngsters on bicycles and
The first citation by police requires a court appearance for
dismissal, but a second infraction could bring a $25 fine, and
parents could also be fined.
“By giving out the coupons, we hope to reward young people that
are wearing the helmets,” Caruso said. “In doing so, we hope to bring
a higher level of compliance.”
So far, officers have not seen much compliance. Since Jan. 1, they
have cited some violators, but held back on most because they want to
give people a chance to learn about the law.
“There has not been aggressive enforcement of the law yet, but
that is eminent,” Caruso said, adding that aggressive enforcement
could come later this month.
The ice cream idea was born when Officer Mike Vail suggested it
and Officer Timothy Dyrness followed up by contacting Baskin Robbins.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea for kids,” said Baskin-Robbins
manager Varuzh Tirityan, who decided to support the program by
allowing coupon recipients to come to his store at 1201 S. Victory
Blvd. for free ice cream. “If they are following the law, they should
Caruso said bicycle accidents are more common here than skateboard
incidents, but officers want to prevent as many types of accidents as
possible. Caruso said nationwide, 50,000 injuries a year involve
When the skate park recently opened at Valley Park, the Burbank
Police Officers Assn. purchased $300 worth of helmets and gave them
away in raffles, Sgt. John Dilibert said.