Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth of the Penticton RCMP issues a ticket for all the right reasons to seven-year-old Elisa Burroughs. The detachment is working in conunction with the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society to encourage safe practices. Mark Brett/Western News

Do gooders will be ticketed

Those who are playing it safe will be the targets of Penticton RCMP

Tickets served for good behaviour.

Starting this week and running throughout the summer months, people, especially young people, who are playing it safe will be the targets of regular duty RCMP officers and community policing volunteers.

This is the second year of the positive ticketing program that police, in conjunction with the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society, will be operating.

Instead of a fine, recipients will get an ice cream treat for their citations.

Society and RCMP representatives were at the downtown community policing office Tuesday morning to kick off the program.

“So we’re sponsoring positive ticketing to help promote the use of safety gear through the summer and all year. So the positive ticket idea is that people will be rewarded for being caught doing it correctly,” said Linda Sankey, society executive director. “So wearing their helmets, using their personal floatation device. We’re targeting youth because we want to set the good habits while their young.”

Added RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth: “We’re giving out tickets, tickets for doing good, for doing the right thing. And life jackets are so important. We have a community with lakes at either end, a channel that flows through it and just having that floatation to keep the person above water is important. No matter how strong a swimmer you are you can get into trouble.”

Earlier in the day, to drive the message home of protecting the noggin, summer student Jacquelyn Belanger, who is working as the society’s education and prevention co-ordinator was at the Penticton Youth Park to talk with boarders and other users of the facility.

“We do a helmet smash demonstration. We have an egg in a foam head and we have one with a helmet on and one without and we get to smash them and they can see one egg survived and one egg doesn’t,” said Belanger. “It was pretty shocking, some of their faces were just like: ‘Oh, okay, so can you help me fit my helmet properly,’ they really get involved in it.”

Another similar demonstration also pointed out the need to replace helmets at least every five years from the date of manufacture, because the material does expire.

Concussion awareness has also become an important part of the message the society is trying to get out to people, because it is possible to suffer a concussion even when wearing a helmet.

“We just purchased a pair of concussion goggles,” said Belanger. “So the goggles actually simulate the symptoms, like dizziness, double vision and confusion and we try to get them to walk a straight line and they tip over. Also symptoms could come up later and you can get one or 10 of the symptoms.”

So from now until the end of August police officers will have the tickets during regular patrols and community policing volunteers too will be looking for do gooders both at random and specific sites like marinas.