HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - If you are under 17 years old and riding your bike in Hasbrouck Heights, you better be wearing your helmet. That was the message that came out of Tuesday evening’s Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council meeting.
Responding to a question from Councilman Steven Reyngoudt as to the New Jersey bike helmet laws, Hasbrouck Heights Police Chief Michael Colaneri Sr. stated that age was 17. He also noted that he has instructed the patrol units to be more diligent about looking at kids on bikes to ensure they are wearing helmets.
“We are going to be stopping kids, and handing out, depending on whether or not they are wearing their helmets, warning notices or certificates,” Colaneri stated. “We have found a few local businesses who are working with us, and the certificates will be for either free pizza or free ice cream.”
Colaneri noted though, that the blame also lies with the adults in charge of those without a helmet.
“They are leaving home without the helmets, “ Colaneri stated. “We have not stopped anyone who had the helmet hanging from the handlebars. The just don’t have it with them.”
Colaneri also stated that the kids will be instructed to walk the bikes home.
“We are not confiscating bikes,” he stated. “We will make them walk the bike home and get their helmets.”
Colaneri he had warned four riders earlier on the day for riding without a helmet, and on the athletic fields at Depken Field.
“The bikes ruin the track and the playing field,” Colaneri said. “That is why we stopped the bike marathon we used to have. Because we did not want the track to be ruined.”
"If we keep seeing the same kids getting warnings all the time, then we will issue the summons," Colaneri stated, noting the law requires police to give warning letters out first before issuing a summons.
Kids on bikes has been a topic previously at council meetings, as residents have noted that they see kids riding their bikes through traffic, without helmets, through the center of town.
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