A new town ordinance that makes bicycle helmets mandatory in Sykesville has been a boon to young cyclists. Local officers have written warnings to 15 violators and given away 20 helmets.
"That's more helmets than warnings," said Councilman Michael Burgoyne. "It is a great way to implement the ordinance."
A state ordinance that takes effect Sunday requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. The town law, adopted in July, requires all cyclists to wear helmets while pedaling within corporate limits.
"We have given verbal and written warnings and helmets to families too pressed to buy them for their kids," said town Police Chief Wallace P. "Mitch" Mitchell.
"It's like Christmas for these kids. They put the helmets on as soon as they walk out our door."
There will be an amnesty for violators of the helmet requirement until Jan. 1, Chief Mitchell said. After that, the warnings will become citations and violators will pay fines.