Tedisco: “Wear a Bike Helmet, Get a Free Ice Cream Cone”


Assemblyman partners with Saratoga County Sheriff Zurlo, Clifton Park Supervisor Barrett, local police, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, Stewart’s Shops, Friendly’s, Hayner’s Ice Cream Hall of Fame, Ben & Jerry’s to encourage kids to wear bike helmets for safety


Exercise safely this summer and get free ice cream to beat the heat. That’s the goal of the innovative Safe Summer Bike Helmet program founded by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville). Tedisco is again partnering with 12 police departments in Saratoga, Schenectady and Albany Counties to distribute thousands of “good tickets” for free ice cream to reward children who wear their helmets while bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading.


It’s the law in New York State that children up to age 14 must wear a bicycle helmet.


According to the New York State Department of Health, about 54 New Yorkers are killed each year in bicycle crashes and 2,000 residents are hospitalized due to bike-related injuries, 38 percent of which involve a brain injury.  Head injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability in bicycle crashes, accounting for more than 60 percent of bike-related deaths. Head injuries account for more than two-thirds of bicycle-related hospitalizations and one-third of emergency room visits for bike accidents.


The Safe Summer Program aims to address these alarming statistics by using positive reinforcement to get all neighborhood kids into the habit of wearing their helmets for safe biking, in-line skating, or riding a skateboard or scooter. 


With his bike and helmet in tow, Tedisco joined Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett, Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo, Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner, children and parents at the Clifton Park Summer Camp at the Clifton Common in Clifton Park to kick-off the Safe Summer Bike Helmet program, which is in its 17th year.


“Summer is the season for kids to have fun but we can’t ever forget that they need to keep safety in mind.  I want children to enjoy the summer but I also want them to be safe when they’re riding their bicycles. My Safe Summer program reminds kids to wear their helmets while rewarding good behavior with coupons for free ice cream,” said Tedisco.


“This program is a true community partnership among businesses, law enforcement, government and parents and it’s truly a model for how caring people can come together and promote a fun and safe environment for children. Safe Summer also provides positive interactions between law enforcement and kids,” said Tedisco.


“The Town of Clifton Park offers many excellent opportunities for active recreation and we strive to educate children about important safety measures they can take while they are having fun,” said Town Supervisor Phil Barrett. “I’m pleased to work with Assemblyman Tedisco on the bike safety program and it’s important to ensure our young residents are safe when biking, skating and roller blading, while building long-lasting and positive relationships with law enforcement.”


“The safety of our children is paramount. The Safe Summer Bike Helmet Program allows us to pass on simple, yet effective ways to teach kids how to safely handle their bicycles in a fun atmosphere,” said Michael Zurlo, Saratoga County Sheriff (R,I).


“This program serves as a fun and informative reminder to kids on the importance of wearing a helmet while riding their bikes. It also serves as another important reminder to motorists about the potential consequences of distracted driving and the need to watch closely for kids, bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians this summer. Thanks to Assemblyman Tedisco for his annual work on this fun and informative program,” said Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner, who also owns Hayner’s Ice Cream Hall of Fame in Halfmoon.


“We are proud once again to donate bicycle helmets to Assemblyman James Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program. It is important to ensure our children’s safety and to make sure they are properly protected while having fun this summer.” said Paul B. Harding, Managing Partner for Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, LLP.


The Safe Summer program is made possible thanks to donations from participating businesses: Stewart’s Shops, Friendly’s, Hayner’s Ice Cream Hall of Fame in Halfmoon and Ben & Jerry’s.  The law firm of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti LLP is also donating hundreds of new bike helmets to police departments in the Capital Region to distribute to children who need them.  Elevate Cycles of Halfmoon was on hand at the event to demonstrate the proper fitting of a bike helmet.


Participating police departments that will distribute free ice cream coupons and bike helmets to kids include: Saratoga County Sheriff, Schenectady County Sheriff, Glenville Police Department, Clifton Park Town Security, Saratoga Springs Police Department, Ballston Spa Police Department, Scotia Police Department, Galway Police Department, City of Schenectady Police Department, Niskayuna Police Department, Rotterdam Police Department and Bethlehem Police Department.