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July 18, 2013

Bike safety could mean free frozen custard for children

NORMAN — Norman police will be on the lookout to reward children with safety citations in an effort to recognize, acknowledge and reward safe behavior displayed by children.

When a traffic officer sees a child behaving in a safe, responsible manner — especially on a bicycle — the officer can issue the child a safety citation that is redeemable for a free custard at Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Capt. Tom Easley said.

“What we’re trying to do overall is enforce safe behavior, especially amongst children,” Easley said.

Children ages 17 and under can receive and redeem the safety citations. Easley said the rewards may also be extended to other circumstances as well, such as safely crossing streets and obeying traffic signals.

Only traffic officers carry the safety citations and are authorized to issue them. The Norman Police Department currently has two traffic officers, both on motorcycles. The citations are limited to the two officers because the department doesn’t want to abuse the generosity of people like those at Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Easley said.

Some details are still up in the air, as far as how long the tickets will be passed out. Easley said they may just print a set amount of tickets and hand them out until they run out.

Last week, the final versions were getting printed. Officers will give out the safety citations soon, if they’re not already, he said.

The program was made possible with the coordinating assistance from people who made an effort to reach out and talk to Freddy’s Frozen Custard. Once they were on board, Sgt. Tim Smith and Lt. Jim Keesee asked to use the police department’s logos on the safety citations and it was run through the chain of command, Easley said.

“All the way from the chief down ... it was approved to go. Then it was only a matter of getting them printed up and getting the design finalized,” he said.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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