Kids play safe to win

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POLICE are rewarding safety-conscious young cyclists for using – and looking after – their heads.

Officers are backing a safety campaign by the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust by handing out goody bags to youngsters.

The bags include highlighter pens, bookmarks and the chance to take part in a draw for prizes including a games console, digital camera and computer games.

Officers on patrol will hand out the bags to youngsters aged three to 15 they spot wearing a helmet while riding their bikes.

Neighbourhood officers have already been giving out bags at locations including Bedlington’s Gallagher Park BMX track.

Acting Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, said: “This initiative is a fun way to remind young people to keep themselves safe when riding their bike.

“But there is a serious message too, always wear a cycle helmet, it will help to protect you if you fall off your bike.

“The scheme aims to encourage cyclists to be safe, and to make sure their can be seen by others on the road. “Cyclists are encouraged to wear fluorescent clothes in the daytime and reflective clothes in the dark, and to make sure their bike is in good working order including brakes and lights.

“Remember, don’t use an MP3 player, or mobile phone while you’re cycling, you need to be able to see and hear what’s going on around you.

“Officers will also stop and talk to young cyclists and their families about crime prevention and help them to make sure they keep their bike secure – when they’re not riding it.”

Police are reminding cyclists to always use a bicycle lock, even if they’re just leaving a bike for a short time. Cyclists who keep their bike in a shed should make sure that’s secured too.

Use a bicycle with a good quality chain and padlock through the frame and security mark bikes with the house number and postcode.