Youth wearing helmets could receive free Dairy Queen treat

While on patrol this summer, Minnesota law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for kids wearing helmets. If caught, a child may find themselves making a trip to a local DQ® restaurant.

As part of AAA’s “I Got Caught” campaign, as many as 100,000 Minnesota youth will be written a “citation” for a free small DQ® cone for wearing a helmet while biking, scootering, skateboarding or in-line skating.

“We want to encourage youth to wear a helmet in an effort to keep them safe and foster a lifelong appreciation for safety,” said Gene LaDoucer, regional director of public affairs for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Program sponsors enjoy providing positive reinforcement to youth who are making smart decisions, and hope parents will take the next step by modeling the desired habit of wearing helmets themselves.”

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, properly-fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent—yet less than half of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that law enforcement and other safety officials can reinforce the need to wear a helmet through positive interactions such as free or discounted helmet distribution programs and incentives for helmet use.

Supporting sponsors of the annual campaign include the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, MN Toward Zero Deaths, AAA and DQ®.

Due to overwhelming positive response from communities, the number of “citations” written by law enforcement agencies across Minnesota has grown over the last decade, according to LaDoucer. Since the program’s start, more than 1.1 million citations for a free DQ® cone have been issued to youth across the state.

For more information about the DQ® system, visit Connect with the DQ® system on Twitter using #HappyTastesGood and follow the system at Visit the DQ®  Facebook fan page at