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Rewards for smart, safe behaviour

Cops and firefighters will be handing out yellow cards this summer for free ice cream cones at McDonald’s

Don’t be alarmed this summer if you glance over your shoulder and a member of the RCMP or fire department is chasing you down.

You are, more than likely, doing something right rather than wrong.

This summer marks the 11th year of the Summer Safety Smart Card program, sponsored by the Maple Ridge Fire Department, local McDonald’s Restaurants and RCMP Community Policing Team.

From June 1 until the end of September, yellow cards will be handed out for free ice cream cones at McDonald’s, rewarding people who are enjoying the outdoors safely.

Assistant fire chief Timo Juurakko says many injuries that occur during summer are preventable, and the program rewards positive and safe behaviour.

And it’s not just for children either.

Last year, he says, a card was given to a man using a weed eater wearing his goggles and another to a person who pulled their car over to use their cell phone.

Adults and children alike will be rewarded for wearing helmets when cycling, wearing protective gear on skateboards or roller blades or to children who hold their parents’ hands while using crosswalks.

RCMP Cnst. Alanna Dunlop says that the community policing team is well received by the youth every year.

“It is a really good way to engage with young people,” she says. “To approach them about safety.”

The safety smart cards will be good until the end of September at any one of the three McDonald’s locations in Maple Ridge.