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Pleasanton police cracking down on cyclists violating bike helmet laws affecting those under 18

Campaign started Thursday to enforce state law mandating helmets for young cyclists

Pleasanton students riding bicycles without wearing helmets can expect to get pulled over by police and could be issued courtesy citations.

Police said there has been a noticeable trend of students failing or improperly wearing helmets while riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, or in-line roller blades to school and on the weekends.

California state law requires that anyone under 18 years old must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet while riding one of these, police said.

"In an effort to improve safety, build relationships with our youth and educate our youthful bicyclists, Pleasanton officers will be stopping students who are riding to or from school and are improperly or not wearing their helmets," police said in a press release. "During this time in lieu of citations, officers will be issuing courtesy citations and educating our students."

Police began issuing courtesy citations Thursday. A department spokesman said they will continue at least through the end of 2012, when a decision will be made whether to issue actual tickets.

The California Vehicle Code states a second offense for riding without a helmet or with an unsecured helmet is punishable by a fine of up to $25.

The release notes that the police and the school district are working together to ensure the safety of students.

"This is especially true of students in the middle schools, since they have the highest concentration of bike riders," the release states.

It adds that the department "has a long standing tradition of traffic safety initiatives that work to prevent injuries to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Our most effective tool however is public awareness, education and community cooperation."

More information regarding bike safety and other related local information for bicyclists, is available here.

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