An RCMP initiative in its third year is encouraging people to try to get stopped by police – for doing the right thing!
The ‘Caught Being Good – bicycle safety initiative’ began in the fall of 2011 as a pilot project to address community concerns relating to the safe operation of pedal bikes in Fernie. Concerns were raised following two incidents where citizens suffered head injuries after falling off of their pedal bikes.
“The project was implemented to create dialogue in the community and effect a change in the habits of citizens by recognizing people who were actively serving as positive role models to others by demonstrating bicycle safety and wearing properly fitted bicycle helmets,” said Cst. Dave Trenholm from the Elk Valley RCMP.
“These people were sought out by members of the RCMP and thanked for their efforts to promote bike safety.”
Those recognized as being ‘caught being good’ were given an entry ballot for a draw held at the end of the month-long campaign. An adult winner and a youth winner were picked from the draw. The youth recipient received a gift certificate to purchase a new bike and the adult winner received gift certificates for an “evening out” for two.
“The program generated excitement and police witnessed increased instances of individuals of all ages wearing bike helmets and practicing safe bicycle operations in the city,” said Cst. Trenholm. “In many instances, youths were actively seeking out police officers to discuss the program and demonstrate their awareness of safe bicycling behaviours.
“The program was well received and police and citizens expressed thoughts that the program should be expanded in the coming year to other communities in the Elk Valley.”
With this in mind, Fernie will expand on the success of the ‘Caught Being Good – Bicycle Safety Initiative’ pilot project by delivering the program to the community running from now until September.
The program will continue to focus on both youths and adults that use bicycles within Fernie. Those that are “caught being good” will go into a draw to win prize packages from Teck.