Stopped By the Police

photo credit policelightsled.com

Getting stopped by the police is not usually a good thing.  Just ask any of the guests on the TV show “COPS”. 
 
It’s pretty rare for a cyclist to get pulled over by the police.  Unless you’re drunk cycling at 1am or Alberto Contador, that is.
 
Well, yesterday my son got pulled over by a local police officer as he was cycling to swim practice. 
 
My son told me that he was just riding along, minding his own business, when a police car pulled up next to him and slowed down.  He thought that maybe the cop was just trying to give him room, so Carter slowed down and moved over towards the curb.  But the officer didn’t pass.  In fact, he pulled ahead a little and stopped.
 
At this point, my son was about to freak out.  Had he done something wrong?  Was he in trouble?
 
Turns out that the police officer pulled him over to thank him for wearing his helmet.
 
Apparently, the officer sees so many kids riding without helmets that he likes to make a point of recognizing those that do.  Not only did he give him the verbal praise, he gave my son two “Flyer Bucks” – gift certificates to the school store.
 
Far too often, police officers get a bad rap.  We read stories about how they might have harassed someone, bullied them, or given them a hard time.  While I know those instances are very rare, the fact of the matter is that the news of those stories imprints upon our childrens’ minds and perhaps forms within them a negative impression of law enforcement.  This particular event was extremely positive, and no doubt made my son feel both good about doing something right (wearing his helmet) and about the officer in general.
 
I was certainly proud of my son last night.  I was also really thankful for the officer for taking the time to do this.  He didn’t have to, but that small act will no doubt pay dividends down the road.
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6 thoughts on “Stopped By the Police

  1. Awesome! I usually have the opposite feeling. I want to stop all of the children I see on the street who are NOT wearing helmets and remind them how precious their lives are! Lost my step-brother 25 years ago from a head injury while he was riding his bike. But in those days – we just didn’t wear them. I still can’t believe how many parents don’t require this simple (and relatively cheap) piece of safety equipment. Thankfully, my kids see helmets just like seatbelts (something that saved my life once) – not negotiable. Super kudos to both your son and that officer!

  2. What a really cool story! I was hoping it was a story about you getting pulled over on your bike for breaking the speed limit, but this is even better.

  3. That’s brilliant – I’m glad police are starting to commend smart commuters. I hope this means we’re all moving in the right direction towards safer, less polluting transportation… with the police actually BEHIND US on this issue.

  4. What a terrific thing for that officer to do. And kuddos to your son for being such a smart guy and always wearing that helmet too…even when dad isn’t watching!! 😉

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